Rhys Williams prepares for A-League final as father battles in Malaysia
ESPN - Thursday 20th April, 2017
They're in the same time zone, but that's where the footballing similarities end for Australia international Rhys Williams and his English-born father, Eric. Rhys heads into the A-League finals this weekend, hoping to help Perth Glory knock out Tim Cahill's Melbourne City, while Eric is simply hoping to see out the month with Malaysian strugglers, Melaka United.
Williams senior has watched his eldest son's ups and down in his return after 11 years in England, and even offered to bring him to the Malaysia Super League (MSL) when he was on the outer with Perth coach Kenny Lowe earlier in the season. Sydney FC were interested in his services too, before Glory announced in January that there was more chance of him "flying to the moon and back" than leaving the club.
The 28-year-old utility stuck with it, resolved his differences, has emerged as a key man for Sunday's trip to AAMI Park face Melbourne City -- if he can shake the hip injury that saw him miss last weekend's 5-4 home victory over the same opponents.
"Hopefully, I will be okay for Sunday's game. I'm going to try my hardest to make it," he told ESPN FC.
Injury has been a constant companion for Williams during a career that saw him debut in the Premier League for Middlesbrough as a 20-year-old and wear the captain's armband two years later. He was selected for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and reportedly earned the interest of Liverpool, before a brutal run of injuries, including two Achilles operations, smashed his dreams.
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