One of the newest Caltex Socceroos, Ryan Williams, is returning to the club where his professional football dream began.
The 25-year-old, who earned his first Caltex Socceroos cap in June, will join English League One side Portsmouth on July 1 after his Rotherham United contract expires.
Williams debuted for the Caltex Socceroos in the 1-0 defeat against Korea Republic in Busan, coming on in the 73rd minute for Craig Goodwin after starting the game on the substitutes bench alongside his brother Rhys.
Pompey gave the Perth-born midfielder his big break in 2010. Then a 16-year-old, Williams moved across the globe to Fratton Park after turning out for ECU Joondalup as a youth player.
He made his Portsmouth debut against Middlesbrough on the opening day of the 2011/12 Championship season and went on to make six total appearances for the south coast club.
Since then, Williams’ career in England has taken him through Fulham, Gillingham, Oxford United, Barnsley and Rotherham.
In that time, Portsmouth dropped from the Championship to League Two, before returning to League One, and Williams is determined to help the former Premier League side continue their rise.
“The club I left is completely different to the one I’m joining now,” Williams told Portsmouthfc.co.uk.
“They were on their way down, but the reason I’m here today is because of the ambition to go back up. I want to be a part of that.
“I felt sorry for the players who were my friends and also the supporters, who give such loyal support, but weren’t getting a lot back. It was a real shame.
“But it’s in a much better position now. They obviously just missed out on promotion last season and it’s exciting to try to help get the club back to where it was.”
Williams returns 'in his prime'
Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett is delighted to have Williams back heading into the peak years of his career.
“Ryan is out of contract and we’re pleased that he’s chosen Pompey, who were his first club many years ago,” Jackett told Portsmouthfc.co.uk.
“He’s an attacking winger who can play on either side and ensures we have good competition in that area.
“Ryan’s just made his debut for Australia, but has been in England for many years now and established himself.
“He speaks very fondly of this club and has continued to follow them. He’s delighted to come back and is doing so in his prime.”
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