Ashley Williams praises Garry Monk example as Swansea captain

Ashley Williams has praised Garry Monk after succeeding his fellow defender as Swansea City's captain on the field.

Monk, 34, remains as club captain but has announced he feels it is time to hand over the armband to Williams, 28.

"I've learnt a lot from him and he's a great captain, a club captain, and he leads by example," Williams said.

"I've learnt a lot off him how to organise a team and how to conduct yourself on and off the field, and I think he's a model pro."

Monk was limited to 15 appearances last season, 11 in the Premier League and four in the Capital One Cup, with Williams - who is also the captain of Wales - usually taking the armband in the other matches.

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We've assembled a really good squad at the minute so there's good competition for places

Ashley Williams Swansea and Wales captain

"It's something that I'm very proud of to be the captain of this club and whenever I wear the armband it makes me proud," Williams added.

Monk is no longer first choice at Swansea, a club he has served in all four divisions of the Football League since joining from Southampton in June 2004.

Last season Williams and Chico Flores were Swansea manager Michael Laudrup's preferred central defensive pairing, while £2.5m signing Jordi Amat has joined from Espanyol for the coming campaign.

But Williams has no doubt that his fellow centre-back still has an important part to play, especially with the added demands of Swansea playing in the Europa League this season.

"He's come back fit, he beats people in the running sessions, he definitely looks after himself and... I don't have any worries playing next to him," Williams said.

"Whether he'll start or not is another thing, that's up to the gaffer [Swansea manager Michael Laudrup].

"Even last season he was unbelievable all season, I don't worry about him one bit.

"We need a bigger squad, I've always thought that, and with the extra games as well all players are welcome. We've assembled a really good squad at the minute so there's good competition for places."

There has been persistent transfer speculation linking Williams with a move away from the Liberty Stadium, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton all thought to be admirers.

But Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has said there have been no firm enquiries for Williams and the 41-times capped Wales defender says it has not disrupted his pre-season preparations.

"I'm totally focused on things we need to improve on from last season," Williams said.

"We're doing a lot of talking and organising a lot more than we did last year and trying to iron things out from now in training.

"I don't really read any of that stuff, I'm just fully focused on what my job is here.

"I just take it as a nice compliment... it means I must be doing something well."