Williams coming back strong

Girls FC caught up with Westfield Matilda Lydia Williams to see what it was like to win the Professional Football Australia (PFA) award and how fans can support her during her rehab.

Westfield Matilda Lydia Williams has gone back to Sweden to complete her knee rehab. Girls FC caught up with her on the eve of her departure to see what it was like to win the Professional Football Australia (PFA) award and how fans can support her during her rehab…

First of all, congratulations on your PFA award. How does it feel to be voted player-s player by your peers? Receiving the PFA award, especially because it is voted by my national teammates, is definitely an honour. I feel very humbled to have received the award and that the Westfield Matildas felt that over the last year I deserved it for my performances.

You-ve added a few awards to the collection this year, including the player-s player award for Canberra United, goalkeeper of the year for the Westfield W-League - are you getting good at acceptance speeches? I honestly don't prepare much for speeches, ha ha. Normally I don't think I will win—the last few months have been definitely a surprise to me.

But I am also grateful and blessed to have been recognised through the Westfield W-League and national team games. So I am getting better at thanking the people I need to thank during speeches, but I don't prepare any notes.

Tempering the success has been your new membership to KneeClub. Is it a little frustrating to suffer a knee injury after such a great year? It was definitely a blow to me mentally and physically when I injured my knee.

I was probably a little depressed for a while, but after talking to a lot of people in both Australia and in Sweden I am back to normal and more motivated than ever to come back stronger and fitter.

Also, to receive the PFA award while going through rehab is a big boost of motivation for me.

We spotted you at the Qantas Socceroos- game with KneeClub members Elise Kellond-Knight and Lauren Colthorpe. Have they had some good advice for you? The KneeClub girls have been very supportive and definitely helped me through the first stage of rehab. They have also told me their knee stories and how they have progressed. So that has been helpful, but obviously everyone is different with the way their bodies adapt and heal.

Knees aside, how did you find the Qantas Socceroos- game? And the PFA awards? Did you get to kick back a little and have a holiday? I thought the game was really great, very entertaining. I thought they were going to snatch it away from the Japanese in the first half. It is always good to watch any football game live, especially any Australian team.

The PFA awards the next day were fun too. Most of the Qantas Socceroos were there and the Hyundai A-League players as well as the FFA and PFA members, so it was nice to see everyone and also dress up a little bit.

The holiday away from football has been fun. I got to see my friends in Canberra and hang out with mum and my dogs a bit, but now I can't wait to get back on the park and start playing again, so my rehab it really important to me. I-m doing it every day, but obviously listening to the professionals and my body with how much or little I can do.

You-ve gone back to Sweden to continue your rehab. How else will you be passing the time? I live near a "beach", which is more like a bay from the Baltic Sea with really cold water, so I will usually hang out with the girls, do gym or physio in the morning, and then go to training to be with the team and more rehab and physio.

But other than that I will be attempting to learn Swedish as well as do university abroad from Uni of Canberra. At the moment I am doing Indigenous studies online.

There-s often a silver lining to injuries (even if they-re not immediately obvious). Anything jumped out at you so far? The silver lining is that I am still around football, so I know I still love the sport and everything about it, which is important to me.

Also a lot of people have told me they want to make me stronger, more powerful, and fitter, which in Swedish got translated to "a monster in goals", ha ha. By going to the gym I have already seen I have got a stronger upper body. Now it will be getting a stronger lower body.

No Apologies, the documentary about you and fellow Westfield Matilda Kyah Simon, aired on both Foxtel and SBS recently. What-s the response been like? The response to No Apologies has been amazing. From that first screening, to receiving DVDs, to the Foxtel showing, and now the SBS showing it has all been so positive for both Kyah and I.

Ashley and the crew did an amazing job and it is definitely awesome to see the reaction of people that they now get to see our backgrounds and they way we grew up.

How can fans support you during your rehab in Sweden? We can-t wait to see you back on the pitch here in Oz. Any support is great. There will be really good days and bad days. It-s all about staying motivated and positive through the rehab process, but one person can't do that for the whole time.

I will tweet (@lydsaussie) a little sentence about how I am progressing during my rehab and maybe attach a photo so people can see what is going on. But fans definitely are a big support and motivator to me especially now going through rehab—I really appreciate the kind messages everyone-s been sending.