Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams returns to the Liberty A-League: Full details

Matildas Chloe Logarzo, Emily Gielnik and Elise Kellond-Knight have all spoken about the positive news that the Liberty Pass, which grants free access to kids under 16 years old to Liberty A-League matches, will be available this upcoming season.

Melbourne Victory have announced the signing of Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who returns to the Liberty A-League for the next two seasons after three years playing in Europe.

Williams joins Victory following stints at Arsenal, Paris Saint Germain and most recently, Brighton & Hove Albion since her last spell in the competition at Melbourne City between 2017-20.

The 35-year-old goalkeeper is the latest member of the Matildas 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad to sign with a Liberty A-League side this season, joining Tameka Yallop (Brisbane Roar) and Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC).

She will also join long-time national team teammate Elise Kellond-Knight at the club, after the midfielder signed on for a second season at Victory.

INS AND OUTS: 2023-24 Liberty A-League Transfer Centre

Lydia Williams

“I’m excited to be returning home and representing Melbourne Victory this season,” Williams said.

“Jeff and the team have built an incredible squad for the upcoming season and I’m looking forward to playing my role and contributing to the squad.

“After such an exciting period for our sport, to be returning to the competition where I started my career and had so many great memories is an honour for me but I also want to continue making great memories with the team and the club.”

Williams said the World Cup on home soil had made her more eager to return home to Australia and inspire the next generation, especially young Indigenous football fans.

“Obviously being overseas for a while now and seeing just the push and the pull of women’s football and how it’s grown, then how we all did at the World Cup really helping inspire the next generation – (I was) really humbled and excited seeing a lot of Indigenous kids coming out and supporting,” Williams told AAP.

“That’s always really been something that I’ve wanted: to give back to the community and provide something for the future. So it was just an opportunity too good to be missed.

“I just felt that it was time to come back and be at the place where I first started and it’d be the place where I kind of end it all.

“Everything just fell into place and I’m really excited to come back to the league.”

The 102-time Matilda helps fill the gap left by the recently departed Casey Dumont, with the club announcing that she had furthered her commitment to AFLW side Hawthorn and won’t be returning this season.

“We’re thrilled to have a goalkeeper of Lydia’s calibre in the squad for the upcoming campaign,” Victory coach Jeff Hopkins said.

“Her experience not only at A-League level but across Europe and internationally will be an invaluable asset to our squad on and off the field.

“We’re confident we’ve built a squad this season that will challenge for the Championship. The work starts now for us to come together as a team and use the upcoming pre-season to continue the momentum of last season and return to the summit in 2024.”

Williams is a three-time Liberty A-League Goalkeeper of the Year, winning the award in the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2016-17 seasons and has won the PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year in both the 2011-12 and 2015-16 seasons.


She’s also a two-time A-League Women’s champion, winning the title with Canberra United and Melbourne City, along with hoisting two premierships with the former in 2012 and 2014.

Williams was called up for a fifth World Cup this year, but didn’t feature in any of the Matildas seven matches, serving as backup alongside Teagan Micah for Mackenzie Arnold.

Victory have strengthened this off-season with a host of new arrivals, including fellow capped Matildas Rachel Lowe (Sydney FC)Emma Checker (Melbourne City) and Jamilla Rankin (Brisbane Roar), along with NPLW Victoria Golden Boot winner Kurea Okino, and Ella O’Grady, Tori Hansen (on loan from Orlando Pride) and McKenzie Weinert (OL Reign).

Hopkins’ side open their A-League Women campaign against Brisbane Roar on October 15 at the Home of the Matildas.

LOVED THE WORLD CUP? Here’s how to enjoy the Liberty A-League Women incl. FREE tickets for U16’s