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Tom Williams insists future is bright for Gordonians as he makes his final appearance

GoGos stalwart will retire after tomorrow's game in Orkney.

Tom Williams of Gordonians.
Tom Williams of Gordonians.

Gordonians prop Tom Williams believes he could not have picked a better time to hang up his boots.

The 32-year-old will play his final game for the club tomorrow as the National Three champions bring the curtain down on their campaign at Orkney.

For Williams, who played his first game for the club in 2010 as a student before joining properly after returning to Aberdeen in 2014, the final game of the season will be his last after deciding to retire from the game.

He is delighted to be going out on a high after playing his part in the club’s championship success.

He said: “I’m calling it a day. It’s time for me to stop playing rugby and to spend more time with my wee boy and my family – and not be in constant pain for half of the year.

Tom Williams is gearing up for his final match for Gordonians. Image: Kath Flannery/ DC Thomson.

“It’s taken its toll to be honest. When you’ve played rugby for 26 years of your life it’s to be expected I guess.

“I’ve seen it all in that time. I’ve been here for three promotions and a relegation and a few coaches.

“But this has been a special year for sure. I feel very lucky to have played with all the boys I’ve played with and I’ve been coached by some really special people.

“This year is a fitting one to end on as we’ve got a special group of boys at the club.”

Club ready for return to National Two

The GoGos have bounced back to National Two in style following relegation a year ago and Williams believes his club can look forward to next season with optimism.

He said: “The club is in a really good place and that is testament to the hard work by everyone behind the scenes.

“The structure is good, the environment is great and the future looks good for Gordonians as it gets ready for the challenges of National Two.”

Orkney trip a fitting finale

Gordonians travelled up to Orkney last night and will celebrate their title win on the island after tomorrow’s game before returning to Aberdeen on Sunday.

As last hurrahs go, Williams could not have asked for a better one.

He said: “We’ve made a weekend of it.

“Orkney are a really physical team and at home they are a tough team to play against. It feels fitting to be facing Orkney in my last game and it’s nice both teams are safe.

“That makes the game a nice occasion for both teams to be involved in and I think we’re all looking forward to it.”

Orkney’s National Three future secured

Orkney are also in buoyant mood, after securing sixth place in their first season since winning promotion from Caledonia One.

It secures the islanders’ place in National Three next season, in the midst of a Scottish Rugby Union league restructure.

Head coach Derek Robb is thrilled with the way his players have adapted to the step up – and he is eager to embrace the challenge of testing themselves against the title winners.

Orkney head coach Derek Robb. Image: DC Thomson

Robb said: “I’m absolutely delighted the guys have got some reward for their efforts throughout the whole season.

“At the start of the season we probably targeted to stay in the top-six knowing that there was a restructure coming.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but halfway through the season we realised that there wasn’t a huge amount, apart from Gordonians, separating the top-six.

“As the season went on the guys adjusted to the pace. The run of results we had post-Christmas went a long way to securing sixth position.

“We are delighted for them all, and we will see how that progresses into next year.

“It’s one more challenge on Saturday. It’s the league champions, who have only been beaten once this season. They have scored a barrowload of points and not conceded a huge amount.

“We will see what we can come up with. We will have a much stronger squad than we did for the corresponding fixture down there, when we barely had 15 to put on the park.”