Rhys Williams (footballer)
Williams playing for Middlesbrough in 2010
|Full name||Rhys Williams|
|Date of birth||14 July 1988|
|Place of birth||Perth, Australia|
|Height||187 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Defender / Midfielder|
|2009||→ Burnley (loan)||16||(0)|
|2016||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||3||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 January 2016.
Rhys Williams (born 14 July 1988) is an Australian professional footballer who plays for English club Middlesbrough and the Australia national team. A very versatile player, Williams is adept at playing as a centre back, defensive midfielder and right back but has played in virtually every out-field position at some point for Middlesbrough including more attacking roles. In August 2012, Williams was made club captain.
He began his football career as a school boy at Woodvale Secondary College by scholarship Rhys was a promising junior with Perth-based club ECU Joondalup. As a youth player, 2004 would prove his breakthrough year with his club performances leading to selection in the Western Australian under-16 state representative squad for the 2004 National Talent Identification Championships. He impressed with three goals in the tournament, helping Western Australia reach the semi-finals. At the conclusion of the event, he travelled to England where he trialled with several clubs including Aston Villa, Leicester City, and Middlesbrough.
He ultimately signed a three-year deal with Premier League club Middlesbrough, playing academy football. In July 2007, he signed his first professional contract with the club, despite a number of injury setbacks which curtailed his football development.
In January 2009, he signed a new two-year contract at Middlesbrough and signed on loan for Championship side Burnley on the same day. He returned to Middlesbrough in early May after it was determined that he could not play in the Football League Championship play-offs for Burnley.
After fantastic preseason form for Middlesbrough before the 2009–10 season where he scored 4 goals in 5 games, manager Gareth Southgate showed faith in Williams by playing him in central midfield in their opening Championship match against Sheffield United where he put in a stellar performance and has since gone on to keep his place in the first XI.
Williams missed most of the 2010–11 Middlesbrough season, and the 2010 World Cup with a persistent pelvic problem which saw him on an extensive rehabilitation period in Australia. He made his eventual comeback to Middlesbrough towards the end of the 2010–11 League Championship season in which he earnt an impressive six man of the match awards in only twelve games aiding Middlesbrough in their best run of the season.
Due to strong performances since his return from injury he was linked to several Premier League clubs in the lead up to the January 2012 transfer window including Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool. Despite speculation of a summer move, Williams penned a new four-year contract with the club, keeping him at the Riverside until 2016. Rhys has become a firm fan favourite at the Riverside Stadium under Tony Mowbray, which along with his eye-catching performances has earned him the Captain's armband on 9 August 2012.
Later in August Rhys suffered another injury blow. Unrelated to previous injuries, this time he suffered damage to his ankle ligaments which kept him on the sidelines for another four months until he made a late December 2012 return.
For the 2013–14 season, Williams squad number was changed from 14 to 4 previously worn by George Friend who changed to 3.
On 2 January 2016, Williams was loaned to Charlton Athletic, initially for 28 days. He made his debut for the Addicks in a 1–1 draw with Nottingham Forest, coming on as a substitute for Vaz Te with aroung 10 minutes remaining On 1 February 2016, Williams returned to Middlesbrough.
Being of mixed parentage, Williams was in an unusual position as he was eligible to represent Australia, England, India, and Wales. In May 2009, he opted to represent Australia, the country of his birth, despite having made numerous appearances for the Wales national under-21 football team. He was also called up to the senior Wales squad.
Following this declaration, Williams earned his first call-up for Australia at senior level as part of an extended Socceroos squad for the June 2009 World Cup qualifiers.
In May 2010 Williams was included in Australia's preliminary squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, however he was not included in the final squad due to an injury sustained while playing for his club.
Williams returned to the Socceroos squad for the friendly against New Zealand on 5 June at Adelaide Oval which was won by Australia 3–0 and he came off the bench in the 0–0 draw on June against Serbia at Etihad Stadium.
Williams played as a centre back in a friendly against France on 11 October 2013.
- As of 2 February 2016 
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Charlton Athletic (loan)||2015–16||Championship||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
- As of match played 19 November 2013.
- "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 21 June 2014. p. 20. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 444. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
- We'll bounce back -Rhys. – Free Online Library
- "Introducing Rhys Williams". Middlesbrough F.C. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
- "Ex-Burnley defender targets A-League deal". Four Four Two. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "EPL clubs look at Williams". SBS Australia. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
- Wilson, Scott (30 January 2009). "Defender signs new Middlesbrough deal – then joins Burnley on loan". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
- "Clarets lose loan star". Sky Sports. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- Middlesbrough | Error | Error
- "Leon saves Best for last". Sky Sports. 26 September 2009.
- "Williams extends Middlesbrough stay". Ontheminute.com. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
- "Rhys Williams Profile".
- "Go Rhys Lightning! Interview". Fourfourtwo.com. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Liverpool and Bolton tracking unsettled Middlesbrough defender Williams". Daily Mail (London).
- "Williams wanted by Pardew as Newcastle boss looks to bolster squad with Boro defender". Daily Mail (London). 29 December 2011.
- "West Brom chase Socceroo Williams for EPL". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Liverpool interested in Middlesbrough's Socceroo utility Rhys Williams".
- "Socceroo Rhys Williams content at Middlesbrough".
- "Ankle injury puts Socceroos and Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams on sidelines".
- "Charlton sign Rhys Williams on loan from Middlesbrough". Charlton Athletic FC. 2 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "NEWS Club terminate contracts of Vaz Tê and Moussa by mutual consent". Charlton Athletic FC. 1 February 2016.
- "Rhys Williams opts to play for Australia instead of Wales". Herald Sun. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.[dead link]
- "Earnshaw recalled to Wales squad". BBC. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "No Aussie Regrets For Rhys". FourFourTwo. 28 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
- Rhys Williams profile at Soccerway
- "Rhys Williams". National Football Teams. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Burnley FC Official Site profile
- Profile on Middlesbrough F.C. official website
- OzFootball profile
- Rhys Williams career statistics at Soccerbase
- FFA Profile