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Williams on her new contract, Australia, the UWCL

Lydia Williams

We received some positive news on Wednesday afternoon as Lydia Williams officially extended her stay in north London for another season.

The experienced shotstopper has put in a number of encouraging performances since joining the club last summer, and impressed with her leadership and communication skills.

We spoke to Williams after signing a new deal - and here’s what she had to say:

on signing a new contract…
I’m really happy. Obviously the season has been injury stricken and there’s been Covid and everything, so it’s nice to actually be ready and coming back healthy and fit for the new season that’s ahead of us.

on the reasons behind extending her stay…
Obviously I want a challenge. I want to challenge myself with and against the best clubs that I can be at and play against the best teams in the world, so leading into the Champions League and the WSL and getting stronger and stronger, I want to be here and challenge myself with my team-mates.

on finally seeing her fellow Aussies in the WSL…
Obviously all of us haven’t been home in over a year now and we haven’t seen our families, so to have other Australians in the country, that’s basically a home away from home, so that’s been really nice that we’ve been able to catch up over the last couple weeks. I think the pandemic has almost helped in a way that it’s forced us to make other means in terms of how we stay in touch and communicate and finally get together again.

on how she reflects on the 2020/21 season…
I think it’s been challenging, but what’s the point of playing this game if it’s not challenging and you don’t challenge yourself both on and off the field? I think for me, I don’t ever want to be comfortable. I always want to outdo myself in whatever way that is, so it’s been a great learning experience and I’m going to take that into next season and the future too.

on why the support between our goalkeepers is so strong…
Because there’s only two or three of us! That’s why you have to band together because you’re outnumbered all the time! Me and Manu have a great working relationship both on and off the pitch and I’m so happy that she’s my team-mate and her goalkeeping team-mate as well. We encourage each other and want each other to be the best that we can possibly be both individually and as a team, so that’s the best thing about it.

on what’s needed from us to kick on next season…
I just think it’s the mentality and the pure grit and determination, and that just comes from playing more games and being more experienced. Next season is going to be busy, that’s for sure, but I think it will help us because the more we play together, the more we understand what is needed to win games and bond closely.

on her experience of being an Arsenal player so far…
I just can’t wait for the fans to come back now, that’s basically it! I guess you see everything on social media, but to actually have that fan experience on the pitch and during games, that’s probably the one thing that I miss the most.

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