The recruitment drive for Perth Glory’s Hyundai A-League 2016/17 campaign has begun in earnest, with Perth-born Socceroo Rhys Williams penning a one-year deal with the club.
After plying his trade in England with Championship outfit Middlesbrough since 2005, the 27-year old defensive-midfielder is returning to Perth on the back of a resurgent season for the WA club.
Having played 14 matches for the green and gold, including caps against France, Serbia and Japan, Williams was also part of the provisional 2010 World Cup in South Africa until he was hampered by injury.
He still remains under the close watch of Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou in Australia’s World Cup plans for Russia in 2018.
“I’m very excited to come home to Perth and join Kenny Lowe whom I’ve known for many years. He's been a mentor to me since I was a teenager” Williams said.
“After 11 years in the UK, the opportunity to re-unite with my family and re-join a manager who believes in me and my football is the tonic I need for my career”.
“I know a lot of the boys at the club since our ECU Joondalup days and I really can’t wait until the pre-season starts. I think Perth Glory fans can look forward to an exciting year ahead with so many WA boys in the line-up” he added.
Williams will also join his younger brother Aryn, who is contracted at the club for next season.
“That’s the bonus for me. I’m not only coming home to re-join my family but Aryn will be there by my side on the training track, day-in day-out. I think that will benefit us both and can only bode well for the rest of the team” he said.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe said the signature of Williams was important for the team going forward.
“We know what Rhys can do. He’s been captain of Middlesbrough; he’s played for the Socceroos and has the qualities and attributes we want as a player and as a person. They’re all elements which tie in with our current recruitment philosophy. It’s exciting for him, exciting for us and I think it’s exciting for the fans and members as well” he said.
Williams will be at least the tenth WA born or raised player contracted at the club leading into next season.
He's expected to join his new Perth Glory teammates in July for the start of pre-season.
Meanwhile, the club can also confirm it has re-signed left-back Marc Warren for another year on the back of an impressive season for the 24-year old.
“Marc has stepped up to the plate when he needed to and has done a lot of work on himself to get to this position. We’re happy with his progress and he’s been rewarded for his efforts” Lowe said.