Watch here as Arsenal FC’s pair of Australian goalkeepers Mat Ryan and Lydia Williams caught up to participate in an entertaining round of rapid fire questions!
The Socceroos and Westfield Matildas shotstoppers put each other on the spot with a wide range of topics, from initiation songs and international call-ups to 'who would win in a penalty shootout' and the all-important question - 'would you rather win all available trophies with Arsenal or a World Cup with Australia?'
You can catch the video in the player below or scroll down to read their conversation in full.
Lydia: Who was your favourite Arsenal player when you grew up?
Mat: That’s an easy one to begin with – Thierry Henry. I used to watch some great documentaries and fell in love with him and the club after that.
Mat: What was the first sport you played?
Lydia: The first sport I played was AFL. Out in WA, footy was the number one sport so it was all about AFL and kicking it out in the desert.
Lydia: What did you sing for your initiation?
Mat: I always go to this song, it’s called Uncle Cracker – Follow Me. There’s not too much rhythm or dancing involved, so you get the audience involved easily!
Mat: Can you remember when we first met?
Lydia: I think it might have been when you were back in the A-League. It was probably the end of season awards or something like that. You were killing it at Central Coast, you had JC (John Crawley) there and I remember JC came to our Matildas camp for a while and he was like 'yeah Mat Ryan, keep an eye out for him' and then you hit the big time!
Lydia: What's the best English food?
Mat: I enjoy a good Sunday roast - obviously on Sunday. I like to go for a chicken roast, and then obviously some veggies smothered in gravy and all that.
Mat: Who is the most famous person in your phonebook?
Lydia: Honestly just probably my teammates. I think also Pat Mills - I mean, all the Australian athletes you meet throughout random things back home so I’ve got a few people on my on my phone list that I can contact.
Lydia: Who is your best friend in football?
Mat: All of my best mates are footballers as well. Anthony Caceres, Bernie Ibini, Nick Fitzgerald, I played juniors with them and went to school with them as well. So yeah, I'd have to say one of those guys. I can’t split them up because if they’re watching this I don’t want any sort of favoritism.
Mat: What is the most important thing to know about living in London?
Lydia: The cafe you need to go to. There’s a cafe called Granger & Co, actually ran by, or I guess a franchise from Bill Granger that owns Bill’s in Sydney. So yeah head straight up to Kings Cross and it's literally five minutes away.
Lydia: If lockdown ended tomorrow, where would you go?
Mat: Granger & Co for some pancakes!
Mat: Who would win a penalty shoot-out?
Lydia: That is tough. I mean I've been in a few and we haven't really done that well. So, to be honest, I think you have got a really good shot against me. I mean we’d definitely be going for a while, we'll go to like the 15th shot and that kind of thing.
Lydia: AFL or NRL?
Mat: Growing up in New South Wales Sydney, you could have guessed - yeah definitely NRL. Hopefully there are a few Parramatta Eels/Arsenal supporters out there
Mat: How did it feel to get an International call-up?
Lydia: I was only like 17, so for me I was a baby, and didn't really like get it. We had a month long tour in Asia where we went to Japan, China and South Korea and that was like my first games against professionals and women that were playing for years, so it was pretty daunting. We didn't win, I think we lost 2-0 against South Korea for my first actual cap, but it was exciting though. How about you?
Mat: I was in a tournament in Hong Kong. It was me and Eugene Galekovic that were (goalkeepers) there. We had four games, Eugene played the first and the third and I played the second and the fourth. Obviously, as you know it was a very proud moment.
Lydia: Would rather win every cup for Arsenal or the World Cup for Australia?
Mat: What a position to put me in! How many worldwide Arsenal fans are there? I'm trying to do the numbers! With all due respect to Arsenal, the club I loved growing up as a kid and everything, I'm going to go with the World Cup. I think because the World Cup only comes around every four years, makes it a little bit more special and it's harder to win. Then also the impact that would have on Australia would be I feel much greater than any trophy that Arsenal would win because they've won so many in the past. Lending a helping hand to Australian football I think I choose the World Cup with Australia.
Mat: Who has been the most important person in your career?
Lydia: My mum for sure. Everything that happened with my career and in terms of injuries and moving to different countries and just all the support. It's not really a cheap sport to be in and kind of grow up if you don't make the national team so representing state teams and driving out to every training session and the building blocks of football my mum was there the whole way, so for me it's her - 100%.
Mat: I can resonate with that, same answer for me!