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SWINDON TOWN: Williams: "Italy tour will be like nothing I've experienced"
6:00am Tuesday 26th June 2012 in Local
BY HIS own admission, nothing could have prepared new Swindon striker Andy Williams for his first taste of a pre-season tour of Italy with Town boss Paolo Di Canio.
The 25-year-old forward joined the Robins last week after turning down the offer of a new contract at Yeovil, and he will soon find out first-hand what he has let himself in for when Di Canio takes the Swindon squad to his native country for a two-week training camp, which begins on Sunday.
While Williams has experienced plenty of pre-seasons during his time with the Glovers, Bristol Rovers and Hereford, he conceded that he expects the next month-and-a-half to be a step up in intensity.
But he thinks the fortnight-long trip will be hugely beneficial to both himself individually, and the team as a whole, in the long run.
“A lot of the time at Yeovil we tended to spend around this country and previous times I’ve been abroad a little bit but I don’t think anything will have geared me up for this trip to Italy,” he told the Advertiser.
“The best thing about a trip abroad is it’s the only chance you get to spend 24 hours a day with your teammates and get to know them and hopefully gel as a group together.
“Then, when we come back to this country, we’ll be ready for the season to start.”
Williams is one of six new Town recruits so far this summer, and the Advertiser understands one more name could be added to that list before the Robins fly off to their Lake Garda base this weekend.
In the interim, however, several players are expected to leave the County Ground - and the exodus started with the news yesterday that frontman Mehdi Kerrouche has had his contract with Swindon cancelled by mutual consent.
The Algerian, who netted eight times during his one-season stay in Wiltshire, has found himself out of favour under Di Canio since the turn of the year and is now free to find a new club.
A number of other players, including two regular members of the side which claimed the League Two title in 2011/12, are also set to be offloaded in the coming days.