City keeper Williams hopes for quiet day at the office to smash another Westfield W-League record
Lydia Williams insists Melbourne City are not worried about who they face in the Westfield W-League Finals Series and instead are fully focused on breaking even more records.
The Premiers are yet to concede at home this season in five matches where they have scored nine goals, and Westfield Matildas number one Williams has not picked the ball out of her own net since December 8, 2019 – 84 days prior to the match against top-four chasing Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday.
Another clean sheet would make it eight in a row - that's 720 minutes of football - and nine for the season. It would also clinch the best defensive record in a Westfield W-League campaign, having conceded only three times in 11 matches after Round 13.
City only conceded four goals in 12 matches in their inaugural Premiership-Championship double-winning campaign in 2015/16, and Williams is concentrating on seeing another zero on the opposition scoreboard on Sunday so City's defence can stake their claim as the all-time best.
“The way that we’ve been preparing all season, it doesn’t really matter who that opponent may be,” Williams said.
“I guess it’s more important for us to get another clean sheet and keep that record rather than scrape by and look forward to the semi-finals.
“I think everyone is looking to keep breaking records rather than who we’re going to be playing in the semis.”
City clinched their second Westfield W-League Premiers Plate with a 4-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers last week, restricting the home side to only one shot on target.
Out of the nine goalkeepers that have played five matches or more in Westfield W-League 2019/20, Williams has made the fewest saves – 25. When she is watching as a spectator, the 31-year-old knows she is doing her job to the highest level.
“It’s amazing. For me, when I have a great game is when I don’t touch the ball,” added Williams.
“Half of the work is goalkeeping and the other half is communicating and making sure how we’re defending and how the shape is to prevent those balls coming towards me.
“It think that’s half the battle and the girls have been amazing.”
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City are holding their annual Indigenous Recognition match on Sunday and Williams, whose Aboriginal heritage comes through her Indigenous Australian father, is proud to see her club acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land and paying respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Williams grew up in the outback mining town of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, and did not start playing football until her family moved to Canberra when she was 10 years old.
“I never thought that I would be doing this as a living, let alone all the achievements over the past 15 years or so,” Williams said.
“To go out there and do Welcome to Country and have that recognition, I think, is amazing.
“The fact that clubs are starting to do that now is incredible.”
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 1 March 2020
Kick off: 4.00pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park
Broadcast: FOX Sports, ABC
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball App, ABC iView