From South Belgrave via Dandenong Stingrays, Williams was reported and subsequently suspended in his first AFL game. He showed the capacity to play either in defence, attack or on the wing and his game featured strong marking, a good spring and well-refined skills. He had just five games in his first season then established himself as a regular. At the end of 2002 he was traded to Collingwood to reunite with his old coach Mick Malthouse even though he had played 18 senior games that season. There had been a question mark over his consistency, but he started well for the Magpies in 2003. His form tapered and he was dropped after the first week of the finals. In 2004 his five senior appearances were scattered across the season and others bypassed him in the pecking order.