Matildas and Melbourne City goalkeeper Lydia Williams has been named the 2016 PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Voted on by all of the PFA’s female members, Williams was selected ahead of her Matildas teammates Alanna Kennedy, Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond and newly crowned AFC Women’s Player of the Year Caitlin Foord.
Humbled & overwhelmed. A massive thanx 2 @TheMatildas whom not only do I call my teammates but my friends, its an honour 2 wear ???????? with you
— Lydia Williams (@lydsaussie) December 6, 2016
“Over the past few years we have had a really hectic schedule and a lot of ups and downs and to have the backing of the girls means so much,” said Williams.
“Besides the players, people don’t see what goes into being a footballer day in day out and to receive that recognition is incredible.”
— The PFA (@thepfa) December 6, 2016
For club and for country, Williams again had a stellar 2016 making 10 appearances for the Matildas, 23 appearances for NWSL side Houston Dash (15), Canberra United (4) and Melbourne City (4).
— Jessica Fishlock (@JessFishlock) December 6, 2016
During the Matildas Rio 2016 Olympics campaign, Williams was a rock for the national team with her performances vital to Australia’s qualification for the Olympics for the first time in 12 years.
On 7mate and Plus7 pic.twitter.com/jgmXgQhKZP
— The Women's Game (@TheWomensGame) March 7, 2016
On 7mate and Plus7 pic.twitter.com/AbbVkN9kp7
— The Women's Game (@TheWomensGame) March 4, 2016
In the Olympics itself, the 28 year was solid throughout making crucial saves for Australia during the group phase and the ultimately fateful quarter final against hosts Brazil.
“The first time I won the award was when I was breaking into the team. This time around there has been a lot of history-making events and I have experienced so many highs with the girls and this is the most rewarding recognition I can imagine.”
Williams club from in Australia and abroad was also stellar with the shotstopper the winner of the Save of the Week twice for the Houston Dash and nominated on 9 other occasions.
2016 saw Lydia Williams considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world and her peers agreed with her second PFA Footballer of the Year award.
— Caitlin Foord (@CaitlinFoord) December 6, 2016
PFA Footballer of the Year
2010: Servet Uzunlar
2011: Elise Kellond-Knight
2012: Lydia Williams
2013: Sam Kerr
2014: Katrina Gorry
2015: Elise Kellond-Knight
2016: Lydia Williams