Injury-hit Socceroo Rhys Williams will look to get his career back on track on home soil after signing a one-year deal with Perth Glory for the 2016-17 A-League season.
Out of contract at the end of the season, the Perth-born utility was announced as the Glory’s latest signing on Wednesday after spending his entire senior career at Championship outfit Middlesbrough.
The 27-year-old has made 126 league appearances for Boro, who he also captained, after debuting in the Premier League in 2007.
Since, he has struggled with a host of injury problems that have cost him spots at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups with Australia.
Despite that, Williams still has 14 senior caps to his name, the last of those coming in 2013 in a friendly against France.
Having played in four games for Charlton Athletic during a one-month loan stint, Williams’ last league appearance for Middlesbrough came in December 2014.
The Australia international said he was delighted to be coming home and working with coach Kenny Lowe.
“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 [Western Australian] boys in the line-up.”
Glory coach Lowe was delighted with the acquisition.
“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,” he said.
“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.”