Former Portsmouth, Rotherham and Barnsley winger makes surprise Oxford United exit - one year after swapping Fratton Park for Kassam Stadium

Former Pompey winger Ryan Williams has called time on his career in English football.

The Australian has returned to his native country to sign for A-League side Perth Glory, ending his 12-year stay in England.

Williams makes the move after Oxford United accepted an undisclosed bid for the 28-year-old.

He had a year remaining on his U’s deal after joining them on a free transfer from Pompey last summer.

Williams made 36 appearances for Karl Robinson’s side last term, as they finished eighth in the table, and 79 in total during two spells at the Kassam Stadium.

The winger played 91 time for the Blues – also over two spells at the club – with Kenny Jackett bringing the former academy player back to Fratton Park from Rotherham in 2019.

Explaining his decision to quit England and return to Australia, Williams told Oxford United’s website: ‘I have loved my time in English football, particularly with Oxford where the gaffer, the players and the fans have been incredible.

Ryan Williams is heading back to Australia after agreeing a move to Perth Glory Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

‘It’s a very special football club and that made my decision really difficult, but this is an unbelievable chance for me and my family and I am really looking forward to a new challenge.

‘I have been in England for 12 years now and because of lockdown I hadn’t seen my family for three years, during which time I have had a little family of my own.

‘When I heard of Perth’s interest I was flattered, not just because they are a club with really strong ambitions but because I grew up there; both my brothers have played for the club.

‘To play for my hometown club surrounded by family and friends who can come and watch me every week is something I’ve never had.

‘My wife is English and we talked it through and realised we may never get an opportunity like this ever again.’