Williams can be as good as Carney: Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Williams can be as good as Carney: Raiders

By Ian McCullough 13/04/2011 05:04:37 PM Comments (0)

The man who signed exciting young halfback Sam Williams for Canberra as a 15-year-old says he has the ability to be as good as Todd Carney.

Raiders' Toyota Cup coach David Hamilton has been in charge of the club's junior recruitment for 12 years, in addition to coaching the junior Kangaroos in 2010.

In that time he's helped nurture the likes of 2010 Dally M Medallist Carney, Terry Campese and Josh Dugan, but said he was blown away the first time he clapped eyes on Williams, who signed a new two-year deal with the club on Wednesday.

"It was in a local competition and we were looking to identify local kids for our Harold Matthews Cup team and Sam was playing for a division two team from Cooma in the Canberra district rugby league comp," Hamilton told AAP.

"He was a 15-year-old and we couldn't believe what we were seeing.

"The way he took the line on was incredible for a kid that age, he saw space and play so early and that is something you learn with experience, and to have it so young is unbelievable."

Williams burst onto the NRL scene in round one, deputising for star signing Matt Orford, who was sidelined with an abductor injury, when he inspired the Raiders to a 40-12 win over Cronulla.

The Raiders lost their next four matches with Orford in the side.

But Williams gets the chance to return and shine once more against North Queensland on Saturday with veteran Orford ruled out with a back injury.

Hamilton has no doubt Williams will be the Raiders' long-term halfback and said the form he showed against the Sharks on his debut was no different to what he produced in the junior ranks.

"He's always had the ability to see the play, he could read numbers well and spot when the other team was short and that is a special talent for a young kid," he said.

"What he did against Cronulla, when he would attack the line and take people with him, he was doing that as a 16-year-old and it was amazing to see him do it in first grade on debut."

Although Hamilton admits Carney was a better player at the same age due to his physical size, he predicted Williams will go to the very top of the game within the next two seasons.

"For every quality you need to be a professional footballer, he ticks every box, I can't see any stopping him," Hamilton said.

"Todd Carney played first grade at 17 but he is a different style of player.

"Toddy was always physically ready as he is a much bigger person but Sam has taken a little while longer to mature and grow into his body.

"I would say another year or two and we will really see the best of Sam Williams, he is a natural footballer."

Williams said he was relishing the chance to take on Test and Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston in Townsville on Saturday.

"It's going to be a massive challenge but it's something that hopefully I can thrive on and just enjoy," he said.

"If I can take a couple of things out of the game and a win this weekend that'd be perfect."

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