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Marc Lloyd-Williams in action against Carmarthen [Richard Stanton].
GOLDEN boot hero Marc Lloyd-Williams last night fired an ominous warning to TNS' Welsh Premier rivals, insisting: "I'm still warming up."
Lloyd-Williams' statement of intent, though, must be music to Ken McKenna's ears as his Treflan nearly men hope it's fourth time lucky following a frustrating hat-trick of runners-up finishes in the Welsh Premiership.
Manager McKenna blamed TNS' failure to penetrate as the main reason why his full-timers haven't tasted top spot - but Lloyd-Williams is a proven fox in the box and the 31-year-old former Chelsea trialist has vowed to fill TNS' frontline void and deliver the ultimate prize.
The Welsh semi-pro striker has already smashed ten goals this term and his domestic record of 186 goals in just 249 Welsh Premier starts is unparalleled.
Lloyd-Williams' record league goal tally of 47 for Bangor in the 2001/02 season earned him a prestigious place alongside Europe's striking elite of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Thierry Henry and Mario Jardel as the continent's hottest hitmen.
But like his new club, league honours have always eluded him. Now Lloyd Williams, who'll make his 250th Welsh Prem start at struggling Llanelli today, is ready to have all guns blazing to lift his, and TNS', first League Championship.
"I've always been confident in my ability to score," said Lloyd Williams, who also had no problem finding the net during stints at Football League clubs York City, Halifax Town and Stockport County.
"My aim is to emulate that record season at Bangor. I want to stay in football for as long as possible and being full-time with TNS is perfect for me."
Lloyd-Williams, who's also combining playing with studying part-time for a sports science university degree, added: "I'm excited at being a full-time player again.
"Since I left York in December 2000, I have been playing part time at Bangor, Southport and Aberystwyth.
"It is harder because I was always juggling football and my full-time job.
"So, my fitness levels aren't quite up to the standard I expect of a full-time player but I've only been training every day for three weeks so it'll take him to get back to full-fitness.
"However, I am feeling a lot sharper and fitter in games and hopefully, within the next month or so, I'll be getting towards my peak."
"That'll be a great advantage during the winter when the grounds become very heavy.
"It should also pay dividends towards the end of the season when the part-time teams should start to feel a bit lethargic during the final 15 minutes of games.
"That's when being a full-time footballer does make a difference."
TNS were narrowly denied Welsh Premier glory last season by all-conquering Rhyl.
Lloyd-Williams is focused on making up for TNS' disappointments of last season.
And unbeaten table-toppers TNS, who have only dropped points at Aberystwyth so far this season, visit pointless Llanelli eager to keep up the pressure on title rivals. Free-scoring TNS, who have plundered 23 goals and conceded just three in seven games, should have no problems against Eddie May's men, who have scored just once in their five games, leaking twenty.
"We want to open up a gap at the top," said Lloyd-Williams.
"We've already beaten Rhyl, Carmarthen and Caersws, which is good because they'll all be up there challenging us."
[Wales on Sunday]
11 October 2021
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