Carlton Football Club’s Zac Williams has recently shared his candid reflections on what he describes as a “year to forget,” marked by injury, personal loss, and the challenges of rehabilitation. In an interview with Carlton’s Summer Sessions podcast, Williams revealed the tumultuous journey he faced in 2023 and his motivations as he prepares to return to the field in 2024. Carlton’s Zac Williams Opens Up About Adversities and Motivations for 2024 Season.
The 29-year-old halfback endured a significant setback when he sustained an ACL injury in February last year, sidelining him for the entire 2023 season, during which Carlton emerged as premiership contenders. However, Williams’ struggles extended beyond the football field, as he coped with the loss of his grandmother and sister, who had battled cancer.
Reflecting on the support he received during these trying times, Williams credited the strong women in his life, particularly his mother, and acknowledged the unwavering support of the Carlton Football Club. He emphasized the significance of the club’s backing in helping him navigate through the challenges he faced, stating that without it, the journey would have been much tougher.
As he looks ahead to the 2024 season, Williams anticipates carrying the memories of his late sister onto the field, expressing his intention to wear a black armband in her honor throughout the year. He spoke passionately about the motivation he draws from both his personal adversities and the rigorous rehabilitation process following his injury.
Williams empathized with teammate Jack Silvagni, who recently suffered his own ACL injury, describing the rehabilitation process as monotonous and at times, lonely. However, he expressed optimism about returning to full training ahead of the upcoming season, eager to contribute to Carlton’s resurgence as expectations around the club reach new heights.
Despite rumors suggesting a potential defection to arch-rivals Collingwood, fueled by his friendship with former GWS teammate Bobby Hill, Williams reassured Carlton supporters of his allegiance. He clarified that while he celebrated Hill’s success during last year’s grand final, his loyalty lies solely with Carlton, emphasizing his determination to challenge Hill when they face off on the field.
With Carlton set to open their 2024 season with a preliminary final rematch against Brisbane on March 8, Williams is poised to make a significant impact on the team’s performance, driven by his personal motivations and the unwavering support of his club and supporters. As he embarks on his comeback journey, Williams stands as a testament to resilience and determination in the face of adversity.
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