Matildas legend announces international retirement ahead of last shot at Olympic glory

Liberty A-League and Matildas legend Lydia Williams has announced her imminent retirement from international football, following the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Melbourne Victory goalkeeper calls time on her illustrious CommBank Matildas career having made 103 appearances across 19 years for the international team.

An Australia debutant at the age of 15, Williams has featured in five FIFA Women’s World Cups, including the 2023 edition of the major tournament on home soil.

Williams is a two-time Olympian having represented Australia at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and won the AFC Women’s Asian Cup title in 2010. Born in Katanning, Western Australia, Williams is one of only two Indigenous Australians to earn 100 Matildas caps along with Kyah Simon, and the only goalkeeper in Matildas history to surpass that milestone.

“After a lot of thought and discussion with my family and friends, now seems like the right time to announce I will be stepping away from international football following the end of the Paris 2024 Olympics,” Williams said.

“It has been an absolute honour and privilege to represent my country, my heritage, my sport, my family, and many teammates over the past 19 years. Playing for the CommBank Matildas across FIFA Women’s World Cups, Olympics and Asian Cups has provided me with memories and friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

“I started in this team as a teenager from Canberra and across almost two decades I never imagine that I would be afforded the opportunity to learn, grow, experience life’s challenges and joys, fight against injustices and be shaped into the person I am today.

“I would like to thank all those who have cared for me and supported me all these years; from my family, to close friends, the head coaches, goalkeeping coaches, team managers, my incredible teammates, and the CommBank Matildas fans.

“This team is truly special, and I am proud of what it stands for, what it represents for a whole generation of women and girls. It’s just getting started and I can’t wait to cheer on the team from the sidelines when the next chapter of my life begins.”

Get your tickets to see Lydia Williams and the A-Leagues All Stars take on Arsenal in Melbourne!

Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson added: “Lydia truly represents what the CommBank Matildas are all about. Incredible on-field talent mixed with authenticity, warmth, and a desire to leave the game better than she found it.

“Lydia has done all of that and then some more. To be able to play the game at the highest level for close to two decades takes significant commitment, passion and focus to always get one day better. Her story is one that show what is possible with hard work and drive. Just as importantly, Lydia makes others around her better as she willingly and generously shares her experience and knowledge for the benefit of the team.

“It has been a privilege to be a small part of Lydia’s football journey and I wish her all the best once the next chapter of her life begins. For the moment, we look forward to coming together to acknowledge a stellar career in the upcoming international matches.”

Prior to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Williams will take part in a special clash with her former side Arsenal as part of the first-ever A-League All Stars Women squad at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Friday, May 24.

Williams joins fellow Matildas Cortnee Vine, Michelle Heyman, Tameka Yallop, Alex Chidiac, Elise Kellond-Knight and Kyah Simon in the squad set to take on an Arsenal squad featuring national teammates Kyra Cooney-Cross, Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord.


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