Mike Williamson

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

After a memorable season for Newcastle United, defender Mike Williamson is preparing for the match of his life this summer.

Since the turn of the year, the 28-year-old started every game for the Magpies last term as they finished fifth in the Barclays Premier League to secure a place in next season's Europa League.

During the close season he will marry his partner, Jade, before returning to the club's Benton training ground with his team-mates in the first week of July ready for the new campaign. Ryan Taylor is also set to tie the knot with his fiancee, Kim, during the break.

"The lads deserve their rest and their holidays and things like that," Williamson told nufc.co.uk in between preparations for his forthcoming nuptials. "I'm sure everyone's going to enjoy putting down tools and reflecting on a great season.

"My wedding is the main thing for me this summer, and then I'll just be coming back here, chilling out and relaxing before we start again for pre-season."

Alan Pardew's side narrowly missed out on a top four finish but their hunt for Champions League football was only ended on the final day of the term.

And Newcastle will still compete in Europe for the first time in five years in 2012/13 after what will go down as a superb campaign on Gallowgate.

"That's what the gaffer said," Williamson revealed. "On reflection, you've look at it and it was an incredible season.

"I think the boys should take massive pride in what they've done. They deserve a lot of praise because they were consistent throughout the whole season and we didn't fall away.

"The whole squad needs credit because the team changed quite a few times - formation and things like that - but the lads have came in and the performances were unbelievable. It was a squad effort and it was fantastic."

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