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Ashley Williams: Becoming a captain

“I've just been made captain of my Sunday League team and I'm not sure how to act - should I still behave like one of the boys or keep my distance now?”
Gary Young, Leicester

Ashley Williams says:

“I recently went through the same thing having just been made Wales captain. There are a couple of things you need to change when you become a captain.

I don't play the game any differently, but I'm very conscious of the fact that I'm leading by example. You can't be caught out not putting in full effort as a captain - the number one thing is to be leading by example.

You have to practice what you preach - otherwise the other players won't respect you when you ask them for things. The other main element is communication. You're the manager's right arm on the pitch and you need to make sure that your team are all getting the message.

I've got quite a loud voice and I've worked hard on being more vocal - it doesn't come naturally to everyone. Captains don't have to scream and shout but sometimes you need to get information across during a game.

You also have to change your attitude. It's not just you and your game that you have to concentrate on any more. You can't let leadership distract from your main job - defending in my case - but you need to have more of an eye on what's going on around the pitch.

Make sure you're on good terms with all the other players, and let them know that they can come to you with any problems."

For more football tips see:
Bryan Robson: How to the ultimate captain
Michael Ballack: The secrets to leadership
Ashley Williams: Becoming a captain
Peter Taylor: Selecting a captain