After making his Hyundai A-League debut as a second-half substitute in Round 4 against Western Sydney Wanderers, Aryn Williams was given his first start on Sunday against Brisbane Roar while regular right back, Josh Risdon was away en route to Bangladesh earning his first Socceroos cap.
Despite the 1-0 loss against the Roar, Williams put in a solid performance in his first A-league start, negating much of the attacking threat posed by Roar’s danger man Thomas Broich.
“I watched a couple of videos, knew what he was going to do and did my best. But obviously with Rizzo away, I got given a chance and I thought I did quite well,” said 22-year-old Williams.
A son of Western Australia Football Hall of Fame inductee and former state coach Eric Williams, Aryn grew up around the game from a very young age. He moved to England as teenager to pursue his professional career, suiting up for the Burnley youth teams from 2010 to 2013.
However, at 19 years old Burnley cut ties with the young full back.
“It’s not easy being released. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done, play football, and coming back to Australia and going into full-time work it was always a shock to the system but you know you just have to take it on the chin and I was young, only 19 and I still have a lot of years left in me to play football so I didn’t give up, and that’s the main thing that kept me going was that I just didn’t give up.”
After playing in the state league with Floreat Athena, Williams was ready to test himself on a bigger stage.
“I called up the club (Perth Glory) and just asked if they minded if I came down and trained. Just came down, was here for a little while and the opportunity came and I took it.
“I’ve known Kenny for a long time. They know what I’m about. They thought I was good enough to come down and then I’ve just shown them that I’m improving and getting fitter and stronger.”
Since coming back to Perth, Williams has been supported by his older brother Rhys who has been a regular fixture at Middlesbrough since 2007 and has appeared 14 times for the Socceroos. Aryn’s twin brother Ryan is also a footballer, currently playing for Barnsley.
“We’re very close, me and Ryan and Rhys. We talk on a regular basis. We talk about keeping your mentality and keeping your head. And if something goes wrong I just talk it out with them and there’s always ways around that. Never beat yourself up about a bad decision or anything you’ve done in the game.”
Aryn will continue to push for minutes, but with the return of Glory’s latest Socceroo Josh Risdon, Williams may have to find a different spot on the field.
“Obviously it’s down to the gaffer and it’s always good to give him a headache. I’m comfortable at other positions, but I’m most comfortable at right back.
“I’ve got to this point now by working hard, so if I work even harder I don’t know where it can take me, but I just have to show everyone that I’m capable of playing in the A-League and the rest is in the club’s hands really.”
Perth Glory hosts Sydney FC at nib Stadium on Saturday in what will be a match aimed at celebrating Perth Glory Women
Kick-off is at 4:30pm and tickets can be purchased HERE