Dundalk FC can confirm that Wasiri Williams’s spell at Oriel Park has come to an end.
The 23-year-old defender arrived on a loan deal from Swansea City in February and went on to make 12 appearances for the Lilywhites this season.
His last involvement with the club was as an unused substitute in the 2-1 win against Cork City at Turner’s Cross before the mid-season break.
“My time at Dundalk was a special, personal experience which I’ll always remember,” he told dundalkfc.com. “I’ll always be grateful to the club for helping me achieve my professional debut.
“I met some amazing people, day in, day out, at training and every single person I met during my time in Dundalk treated me as family.
“I had to adjust to the League of Ireland quickly but it allowed me to grow and learn as I went on and it’s a strong competitive league which overseas players would be silly to look down upon.
“I think the main thing I learned was trying to reach a level of consistency with my performances which were helped by the coaching staff and also from the importance of winning games for such a great footballing town.”
Dundalk’s first game back after the mid-season break takes the Lilywhites to Weaver’s Park in Drogheda on Friday night, the scene of Williams’ happiest memory in a white shirt.
“The derby win away to Drogheda in March will be my fondest memory,” he said. “Seeing such passion from the travelling fans, who sang non-stop, helped us come out with a win.”
Williams was due to stay at Oriel Park until the end of the month but he returned to London after the win against Cork City to tend to his girlfriend Laureann, who is battling against cancer.
“After having conversations with those closest to me and the staff at Dundalk, we decided to end my loan early so I could help and support her through this difficult time,” he explained.
“In football, you come across moments where there’s more to life than the sport you love. I have the utmost respect for the gaffer, Stephen O’Donnell, his coaching staff and Brian Gartland, the head of football operations, for being genuine humans throughout this situation.
“I want to thank my teammates for the memories we made and the support they gave to me. They are all individually great minds who put the graft in every day, without a second thought.
“Finally, I’d like to thank the Dundalk fans. It’s been a rollercoaster first half of the season for the team but with your support, I have no doubt that the boys will turn it around and make it a successful season.”
The Londoner was a popular member of the first-team squad at Oriel Park and O’Donnell praised Williams for his impact, on and off the field.
“Waz brought a lot of energy to the group and even though he knew before the Cork game that he was going back, he was still shouting encouragement at the lads from the bench and that shows exactly what kind of character he is.
“The loan move served its purpose at both ends. Waz came here and played first-team football and we needed him because we had players out injured in that department. He will only improve in the future and he will learn from his time here and we were delighted to have him,” he added.
“I think every player that has come here on loan has done well and it has given them all their first real taste of competitive football. It’s always interesting and intriguing to see how they get on in the future. You hope to see them go on and do very well with their career and we hope that is the case with Waz.”