Williams eager for return against Sydney


Melbourne Victory defender Rhys Williams is looking forward to his return to the pitch in Friday’s Hyundai A-League clash against Sydney FC.

Williams missed Victory’s last two fixtures, against Ulsan in the AFC Champions League and Sunday’s win over Wellington, due to suspension.

With finals looming large, and with good recent A-League form, the defender is eager to keep the ball rolling.

“It’s called the Big Blue for a reason and it is a huge game for both teams,” Williams said. “It is a great time to play each other going into finals.

The 29-year-old is hoping to help change Victory’s fortunes against its arch rivals, following 1-0 and 3-1 defeats earlier in the season.

“We’ve played them twice already this year and I think we matched them, if not outplayed them for a lot of it. In the end, our lack of concentration cost us.”

“I’ve enjoyed both games against them – even though we’ve lost. It’s great playing against the quality that they have. They can chop and change and whoever comes in knows their job.”

Williams is aware of Victory’s limited squad size, but believes having a close-knit group can be an advantage.

“We do have a small squad but we’re enjoying how many minutes we’re all getting.”

“When someone misses out through injury or suspension it gives other players a chance to come in and prove themselves.”

Along with Williams, Kosta Barbarouses is also available for selection after serving a one-match ban against Wellington Phoenix.

Victory’s final game of the regular season kicks off at Allianz Stadium at 7.50pm AEST this Friday.

Sunday’s 2-1 win over Wellington confirmed Victory’s place in the top four, which means a home Elimination Final will be played at AAMI Park on Sunday, 22nd April.