Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams is the latest Australian to join the FA Women’s Super League, having signed a one-year deal with the famous London club Arsenal.
Williams joins fellow Matildas Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley at Arsenal, and a number of other Australians in the English League, including Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Hayley Raso (Everton), Chloe Logarzo and Ella Mastrantonio (Bristol City) and Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (West Ham).
Williams, 32, is a Matildas stalwart. She’s long held the No. 1 position and has represented Australia since 2005, appearing in four FIFA World Cup tournaments.
“To be given an opportunity to come over and play with some of the best players in the world is really exciting,” Williams said regarding the deal. “I remember watching Arsenal as a young kid, so it’s amazing to be a part of this team. I can’t wait to meet all of my teammates.”
Arsenal head coach Joe Montemurro said Williams’ signing is really important for the club.
“With the wealth of experience that Lydia brings, she can help the younger player that we’ve got, but more importantly she’s a big game player that will be solid and really contribute to the group,” he said.
Williams’ one-year deal with the English club includes an option for Arsenal to extend her contract for a second season.
For Williams, heading to Arsenal means she can reap the rewards of being located in one spot, playing for one club for an entire season. It’ll be the first time she’s had a pre-season in six years.
“I love coming home and playing in the W-League … but to be able to be based in one place for one club is just going to be absolute heaven-sent opportunity,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
“You have to change styles of play between clubs, be comfortable with travel and this will be the first time I will have a pre-season in six years.
“It is different, but not in a bad way. I just want to be in one spot playing at one club.”