Melbourne Victory sign a Socceroo

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    Melbourne Victory have bolstered their squad for the next A-League season by signing Australian defender Rhys Williams from Perth Glory.

    Williams spent a decade at Middlesbrough in England from 2007-2016 making 126 appearances for the club before returning home to play for Perth Glory in the A-League last season.

    He played in 16 matches for the Glory and has also made 14 appearances for Australia at international level, making his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Japan in 2009.

    The 28-year-old has not played for the Socceroos since 2013.

    “We’ve had really positive discussions with Rhys and we’re thrilled to officially welcome him to the club,” said Melbourne Victory’s head coach, Kevin Muscat.

    “Rhys is the first piece of the puzzle as work begins on building our squad for what is sure to be an exciting 2017/18 season.

    “It’s well known that we like versatility in our squad and not only is Rhys an outstanding defender, he is also very good on the ball and is equally comfortable playing as a full-back or even in midfield.”

    Williams has signed a two-year deal that will take him through until the end of the 2018-19 season. He said talks with Muscat and watching Victory’s spirited, if unsuccessful, effort in this year’s grand final had convinced him to join the club.

    “I had some things to weigh up in terms of a couple different offers, but ultimately it was my conversations with Kevin (Muscat) that convinced me Melbourne Victory was the right place to sign,” said Williams.

    “I obviously watched the Grand Final and was impressed with how hard the boys worked for each other, and that’s a testament to the culture, because they just kept fighting.”

    Williams also said he was excited by the prospect of being part of Victory’s AFC Champions League campaign.

    “The ACL is something I’ve really enjoyed watching since returning home (from England) and I’m looking forward to being involved next season,” said Williams.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.