By JESS WEBSTER
Delisted North Melbourne midfielder Josh Williams will return home next year after putting pen to paper with premier Southport.
The former Gold Coast SUNS Academy member was drafted to the Kangaroos in 2016, and kicked his first AFL goal with his first touch on debut in 2017.
Sharks coach and former SUNS assistant Stephen Daniel mentored Williams while both were at Gold Coast.
Daniel told the Gold Coast Bulletin he pounced on the 20-year-old talent once he was let go by North Melbourne at the end of the season after two AFL matches in two years on their list.
“Josh is a quality outside midfielder who uses the ball very well,” he said.
“His work rate and speed is elite, hence why he was drafted by North Melbourne.
“Once I heard he was being delisted I was on to him straight away.
“Back when I was coaching in the academy at the Suns I really rated him, firstly because of his quality as a person.
“He certainly fits in to our culture and what we are all about. I was also really impressed with how he played back then and he is a pretty important get for us.”
Williams moulded his game with the Hermit Park Tigers in Townsville before moving to the Gold Coast at the age of 17 to train with the SUNS academy, playing six NEAFL games in 2016 before being drafted.
He joins former Gold Coast utility Matt Shaw as the Sharks key recruits so far, whilst premiership players Wade Hancock and Brenton Payne are confirmed outs.
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