A-Leagues pair’s message ahead of history-making All Stars event: ‘They’re really shocked’

Premier League giants Newcastle United and Women’s Super League (WSL) juggernaut Arsenal have been warned about the quality of the A-Leagues following the announcement of an All Stars doubleheader in Melbourne.

History will be made on May 24 when the A-League All Stars Women side assemble for the first time ever for a blockbuster showdown against WSL powerhouse and three-time champions Arsenal at Marvel Stadium.

On the same night, the A-League All Stars Men team will come together for the fourth time as they meet Newcastle.

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Melbourne Victory and Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams was at the launch of the history-making event, speaking to aleagues.com.au.

Williams previously played with Arsenal, where she spent two years alongside fellow Australia internationals Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord in London.

Asked if Arsenal – who also boast Matildas midfielder Kyra Cooney-Cross – would be shocked by the standard of the Liberty A-League, the 35-year-old said: “I think so.

“You get that every league. When you go overseas, you don’t really know or have heard of some players. Then when you get there, you’re a bit shocked as to how good they are and why they’re in that team.

“It’s definitely going to go both ways, the shock of the standard and the talent.

May’s clash between the A-League All Stars Men outfit and Newcastle will represent the fourth fixture of the concept.

In 2013, Ange Postecoglou coached an All Star team against Manchester United before Juventus visited Sydney the following year.

After eight years, the All Stars returned for a blockbuster showdown against LaLiga giants Barcelona in 2022, though there was no game last season.

Fringe Socceroo and Melbourne Victory star Daniel Arzani talked up the quality of the Isuzu UTE A-League.

“There’s so much talent in the A-League,” he told aleagues.com.au, with Postecoglou’s Tottenham also due to go up against Newcastle at the MCG on May 22.

“I think the A-League is also a very underrated league. It’s much tougher to play in than a lot of people give it credit for.

“It’s a great platform for young players to propel their careers. We’re all really excited for it. It’s going to be great.

He added: “I’ve had first-hand experience with a lot of players who’ve come from overseas and they’re really shocked with the level and the quality of young players coming through.”