Jess Williams on the pitch at Swansea City FC with her trophy
Jess Williams at the Stadium with her award Credit: Swansea City AFC/Athena

A Cwmbran footballer has won an award for her work in the community to get more girls playing the sport.

Jess Williams, 23, grew up in Oakfield and signed for Swansea City AFC in 2018.

The club plays in the Genero Adran Premier League, the top tier of women’s football in Wales.

Williams, a defender, was named the club’s PFA Community Champion for the 2023-24 season. Liam Cullen collected the award for the men’s team.

The award aims to highlight players who have made work within communities and for good causes central to their role as a footballer.

Paul Franc, Liam Cullen, Jess Williams and Scott Walker on the pitch at Swansea City
(l to r) Paul Franc, Liam Cullen, Jess Williams and Scott Walker Credit: Swansea City AFC/Athena

She’s been a regular supporter of girls’ football, attending multiple girls’ soccer camps and girls’ only football sessions.

Williams was also part of a visit to patients on the children’s ward at Morriston Hospital over Christmas, helping to deliver toys, donated by the club, as well as selection boxes to bring some festive cheer.

She said: “It’s a really nice award to receive, I wasn’t expecting it but it’s really important to give something back to the club and the local area.

“It’s been amazing see all these young girls looking up to us as a football team, it is something that I’ve dreamed of.

“I remember being a little girl and looking up to players, so to now be that role model for them feels really good.”

Last November, she returned to her hometown to play against one of her former clubs, Cwmbran Celtic FC.

The awards were presented ahead of Swansea City’s final Championship fixture of the season against Millwall, by head of Foundation Paul France and PFA community liaison executive Scott Walker.

Walker said: “The PFA Community Champion award gives recognition to players that have gone above and beyond to amplify the voice of the community and give back.

“It recognises that, if you give back, you inspire the next generation and you connect people to the club forever.

“Having local players like Liam [Cullen] and Jess [Williams] collecting these awards just shows it’s in the blood and that if you are connected to a club from an early age, and are lucky enough to represent them, then you are ultimately giving back.”

Maheta Molango, PFA CEO: “The PFA has once again been immensely proud of the outstanding efforts of players this season and we feel they should be recognised for their support and involvement in the local community. 

“The Award will hopefully raise awareness of the importance many of our members attach to their roles off the pitch and highlight their continued commitment to support those most in need along with engaging in areas where they have a personal interest. 

“We would like to offer our congratulations to this season’s recipient of the 2023/24 PFA Community Champion Award.”

Jess voted the  Swansea City Ladies’ Supporters’ Players of the 2022/23 Season.

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