Lydia Williams leading the way for the Matildas

Since claiming the number one jersey in 2012, goalkeeper Lydia Williams has developed into a vocal leader for the Matildas.

Lydia Williams

Lydia Williams, centre, in action for the Matildas in 2016 Source: Getty Images

The last 18 months have been momentous for the 28-year-old, both on and off the pitch as Williams has been recognised as one of the top goalkeepers in the women's game and one of its leading voices off the pitch. 

Williams, a member of the world FIFPro Advisory Board and the Professional Footballers Australia Executive, was one of the leaders of the Matildas' 2015 fight for better pay and conditions. 

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For Williams, the battle was not just about the current team, but also for future players. 

"I think we are heading in the right direction," Williams said.

"To see how it has progressed from when I first started, that has really helped me in guiding the girls and working for better opportunities."

"At the end of the day the girls are my friends and I want the best for them and ultimately for the future of the women's game."

The increased pay and conditions have already began to pay dividends, with the Matildas qualifying for the Olympics for the first time in 12 years and making a run to the Rio 2016 quarter-finals, falling to hosts Brazil. 

Williams believes that this FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games cycle is just the beginning for a relatively young Matildas squad. 



"I really believe that with this team that we have, it is the most talented team that Australian football has produced," she said.

"We have the best chance of winning a medal or some kind of silverware. We want to be first to win [a World Cup or Olympics] and that is driving me and the team to achieve what we can,"

Williams is certainly one of the keys to the Matildas' future success, and this week the custodian was voted by her peers as the PFA Women's Footballer of the Year for the second time. 

"Obviously it is quite an honour especially with the group of talented girls we have in the team," Williams said. 

"I think the whole team could have been nominated and to win it is incredible and mind-blowing,"

With strikers and midfielders generally the recipients of such awards, Williams' win demonstrates just how highly regarded the Melbourne City goalkeeper is. 

"They are fantastic team-mates. To be recognised by them for not only football but also for other work away from the field, I am just really blessed."


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3 min read
Published 10 December 2016 at 9:46am
By Ann Odong