Kadeem Williams returns to the Red and Gold
Former Sheffield Eagles Academy and Reserves player Kadeem Williams has re-joined the club after a three-year stint at Coventry Bears.
Williams, who can play in the second-row and centre, has also had spells at Hemel Stags and Gloucestershire All Golds in the third tier.
Now the ex-Academy star, who was picked in the recent Jamaica squad for their games against England Knights and Scotland, is looking forward to making his mark on his hometown team.
“I am very happy to be at the club,” said Williams.
“It’s always been a thing for me to try and get the chance to come back and make the step up.
“I was in the setup when I was younger so it’s nice to be back home, back in Sheffield and playing rugby where it all began.
“I have been in League 1 for a few years so I want to prove to myself that I can do the step up and play with these boys and show what I’m capable of.”
Williams looked back on his time in League 1 with fondness as he enjoyed regular game time and saw the gradual improvements that came with it.
“I have been at Coventry for three years and they’ve always been good to me,” he reflected.
“I have enjoyed being down there as I made some good friends and we’ve also had some big wins.
“It’s made me grow as a player.
“I was at Gloucester and Hemel before and it’s been an eye-opener.
“I’ve really come into my own and grown in the positions that I play.”
Williams was complimentary towards Director of Rugby Mark Aston, who was heartbroken to see the club’s Scholarship, Academy and Reserve setups disband back in 2016.
Since that time, Williams has caught up with Aston on a number of occasions and now the Eagles chief has taken a chance on the homegrown talent.
"We have spoken now and again, when I’ve come to watch the Eagles play,” the back-row/centre said.
“He’s seen bits from me as I’ve been growing in the game and he was always there for me if I needed some advice.
"It’s nice when we had a sit down, we had a good catchup about what has happened in the past few years.
"It’s almost like I never left as he’s always been inviting and welcoming, he’s happy to have me on board so hopefully I can do a job and we can get things moving.”
Speaking of Williams, Aston added: “I have seen him grow and mature,”
“He wasn’t a rugby league player or athlete when he was in our Scholarship and Academy.
“I used to have a giggle with him every time I saw him and that he played with Cory and Burnsy, as he’d come up to me, shake my hand and say “I love rugby league!”
“I said “one day you’ll believe that son” and that he’d achieve what he wants to achieve.
“He’s still playing, he’s been playing at Coventry and he asked me to give him a shot so he can show us what he’s capable of.
“He’s strong, he whacks people and can score tries.
“He has developed over the past few years and it’s always nice to bring a Sheffield kid back into the system.
“He knows it’s a challenge but he’s asked for the opportunity and we’re only too happy to do that.
“Fingers crossed he can progress and fight to get into the team.”
By Dan Fowler