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Williams rejects Australia call to keep Oxford United shirt

Oxford Mail: Ryan Williams (right) takes on advice from manager Chris Wilder Ryan Williams (right) takes on advice from manager Chris Wilder

RYAN Williams has turned down the chance to play international football next month as the winger bids to get a promotion with Oxford United on his CV.

The 20-year-old was in the frame for a call-up to the Australia squad for the Asian Under-22 Championships.

It begins in Oman on January 11 and a successful run could have seen him miss four U’s games.

But Williams, who last week extended his loan from Fulham until the end of the season, felt he had to turn down the opportunity.

While unsure whether the Cottagers would have allowed him to play in a tournament which falls outside of designated FIFA dates, the Perth-born winger is keen to build on a good run in United’s side.

He said: “I’m in a good position at the moment playing every week at Oxford and my contract is up at Fulham at the end of the year, so I can’t really be going away for three weeks where nobody will see me.

“It’s a big thing to play for your country, but at the moment I think my future is a little bit more important.

“My priorities lie with getting a contract and the manager understood that.

“He knows this is the only incidence that I would put my club in front of my country.

Williams had only a handful of substitute appearances to his name before joining the U’s in August, but is developing fast.

An injury to Alfie Potter has given him a run in the side, which has been grasped with both hands.

And after playing regularly, Williams was keen to stay on and finish the job.

“Going into Christmas in the top three is massive,” he said.

“For me, I would have felt that I had done half a job.

“I’ve been quite involved with the team for the first part of the season, so fingers crossed, I can be as involved in the second part and hopefully we can push on and get promoted.

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