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DANNY THRIVING BIG TIME AFTER SLOG AT PART-TIME.

Byline: Michael Gannon

Danny Williams is still pinching himself after going from park pitches to Parkhead.

The Caley Thistle winger signed a two-year contract extension in midweek after impressing new manager John Hughes to complete his rise from part-timer to Premiership playmaker.

The novelty has yet to wear off for the 25-year-old since he moved north in the summer from lowly Kendal Town. The Cumbrian side play in the eighth tier of English football and Williams feared his career had hit the ceiling when the roof caved in - literally - against a side called Prescot Cables.

The winger, who had a loan spell at Chester, was unearthed by Terry Butcher and has become a regular at Inverness where he is set to face Dundee United today. He said: "With all respect to Kendal it's no comparison from those days.

"Playing at grounds like Celtic and Aberdeen with thousands of fans there, it's a big step up.

"The grounds in that league were so small - park pitches really. You got some clubs that were decent like FC United who had four or five thousand fans. Chester would get three thousand. So it was a mixture but no comparison to the Scottish Premiership.

"All the old cliches applied - it was freezing cold showers and stuff like that. It's a bit different to Parkhead or Pittodrie!

"I remember playing against Prescot Cables and I don't think there was even a roof. The bit that was there was coming down and I appreciate it more here because of where I've come from. I used to work 40 hours a week and squeeze in training. You don't take any of it for granted."

Williams was working as a part-time relief teacher when the Caley Jags came calling but he's the one who has learned a lot in the last six months.

He said: "The chance to sign here came as nice surprise. I still believed it could happen for me but there was that nagging concern I was a bit too old to make the step up to full-time level."

Williams has been filling in for the injured Richie Foran in central midfield recently and expects a tough afternoon against United.

He said: "We've beaten them twice this season but it's a game we need to bounce back in after the matches we've lost recently. A win can keep us up there."

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MIDDLE MAN Danny has filled in for Foran (right)
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 12, 2014
Words:407
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