Ashley Williams and Seamus Coleman put Everton club duties aside last Friday as both went to battle for their country as Wales traveled to Dublin in a World Cup Qualifier.
Both should be back at Everton today eagerly anticipating the Merseyside derby with Liverpool this Saturday lunchtime, but while Coleman faces up to the reality of his lengthy layoff, Williams has revealed the club will rally around their stricken teammate.
Speaking on evertonfc.com the Welsh defender spoke of the agony at seeing up close his teammate’s injury and how the Irish captain is “positive” and “focused on his recovery” from his broken leg.
“Seamus is one of my best mates at Everton, someone who I’ve got really close to,”
“For me personally, I didn’t really know anyone at Everton when I came to the Club but he was someone who made me feel welcome and helped me to settle in straight away. The feeling I get from everyone outside the Club is that they know him as a genuine, decent, stand-up guy who always gives his all. And as I know him, he’s one of the good guys in football, just an honest pro.
“I tried to go to the hospital. Seamus was in after the game but the FAI said he’d had a few family visitors and they were trying to get him to sleep.”
“I sent him a text and he woke up in the night and texted me back. I spoke to him then. I’ve spoken to him since, too, and he seems positive and focused on his recovery.”
“We all support him and everyone at the Club will rally round to be there for him during his rehab.”
Williams spoke of the incident that resulted in Aston Villa defender, Neil Taylor being shown a red card and how he quickly realised his club mate was in trouble.
“I didn’t really see the tackle,” said Williams. “All I saw was the red card and my initial reaction was to go to the referee. At the time I was in the swing of things. It took me a minute to realise, ‘Actually, he hasn’t gotten up,’ and that it was Seamus who was down. At that point, I wasn’t thinking about the game, or us being down to 10 men, I started thinking, ‘Is my mate okay?’ That was when I went over to him.
“Even at that point I didn’t know it was so serious. After the game I went straight into their dressing room to speak to James McCarthy and he told me Seamus had gone to hospital and had broken his leg.”
Williams also spoke of the low atmosphere in the Welsh dressing room after the game and how distraught Neil Taylor was at the injury he inflicted on the Everton defender and how he tried immediately to get in contact with Coleman to express his sorrow at the challenge.
“It was just a weird feeling from everyone around the dressing rooms. Even people who don’t know Seamus like I do were gutted. Neil Taylor was completely gutted. He was sitting on the floor virtually in tears. He asked me to check if it would be okay to go to see Seamus in hospital. He got his number off me and sent him a text straight away.
“When I found out it was a broken leg it made me feel sick inside because it’s someone who I like so much and is one of my mates.
“He’s going to have up and down days but the way he is, I’m sure his determination will help with his rehab and hopefully we’ll have him back sooner rather than later and stronger than ever.”
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena