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Jun 16, 2022   |  2:59PM AET

Glory pull off transfer coup to sign attacking midfielder Williams

Glory pull off transfer coup to sign attacking midfielder Williams

Perth Glory is delighted to announce the signing of attacking midfielder Ryan Williams on a three-year contract.

The club successfully negotiated an undisclosed transfer deal for the 28-year-old Socceroo who was still under contract with UK League One side, Oxford United.

Williams has spent the last 12 years in the UK, chalking up nearly 250 Championship, League One and League Two appearances for a number of clubs including Fulham, Portsmouth, Barnsley, Rotherham United and Oxford United.

A former Australia Under-20 and Under-23 representative, he will become the third member of his family to represent his hometown club, following in the footsteps of older brother Rhys and twin brother Aryn.

“I’m really looking forward to coming home after a long time away and it’s exciting for me to be able to put on a shirt for a club from my hometown,” he said.

“My family have never been able to come and watch me play every week, so that’s another thing I’m excited about.

“It means a lot to me to be able to play for Perth as I grew up watching them and followed them throughout my career; it’s going to be special.

“Ruben [Zadkovich], Andy [Keogh] and Joe [Gallen] all have experience overseas and I trust in what they want to do which is to push up this league and make the club hard to beat.

“That mentality is definitely something I can help with due to my experience in the UK.

“Ruben is a really exciting manager who is young and hungry and has the desire and the ideas.

“It’s about implementing those, which is something hopefully I can help him do and we can push the club forward.”

Zadkovich believes that Williams will prove to be a key signing.

“We’re very excited to have Ryan joining the club,” he said.

“He’s a top professional and a top character who is versatile, very dynamic and extremely energetic in all aspects of his game.

“Ryan possesses the innate ability to combine with those around him, has very good awareness and is very positive.

“His character references are very strong, he comes to us highly regarded and his focus and ambition really align with myself and the club.

“We believe he has the potential to make a solid impact on this league, but more importantly a big impact on our club’s success.”

Glory’s Head of Recruitment, Andy Keogh, is similarly delighted to have Williams on board.

“Ryan is a fantastic signing for this club,” he said.

“With his experience and quality and the age that he’s at, he’ll be so valuable for us going forward.

“He fits the profile of what we are looking for perfectly and is a big asset.

“We can’t wait for Ryan to pull on the famous purple jersey and represent his hometown team.”

Born in Subiaco, Williams played his junior football for ECU Joondalup and was snapped up by Portsmouth in 2010.

After two years at Fratton Park, he was signed by Fulham and subsequently spent time on loan at Gillingham, Barnsley and Oxford United, enjoying a very successful season with the latter in 2013-14.

His next taste of Championship football came following a permanent move to Barnsley and after two seasons with the Tykes, he joined fellow-Yorkshire side Rotherham United with whom he tasted victory in the 2018 League One Play-Off Final at Wembley.

The versatile attacking midfielder returned to Wembley last year, starting for Portsmouth in the EFL Trophy Final having re-joined the south coast club in 2019.

Last season, meanwhile, he returned to another of his former clubs, Oxford United, for whom he made 33 appearances as they narrowly missed out on a place in the League One Play-Offs.

At international level, Williams won a host of caps for Australia at Under-20 and Under-23 level before making his Socceroos debut in a 2019 friendly against South Korea.