Socceroos new-boy Ryan Williams: I can maintain my international ambition with Portsmouth

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Ryan Williams is convinced Pompey can help maintain his international aspirations.

The winger last month made his Australian debut, climbing off the bench during a friendly with South Korea to feature for the final 17 minutes.

Having previously represented his country at under-20 and under-23 levels, it finally signified a senior breakthrough for the Perth-born player.

Williams’ recent elevation is recognition of two eye-catching seasons with Rotherham.

SEE ALSO: 'Ryan Williams was stellar at Rotherham - Portsmouth have a winger who'll make big League One impact'

Having previously been dogged by two-and-a-half years of injury, the 25-year-old has flourished under regular first-team football.

Socceroos international Ryan Williams is keen to add to his experiences with the Australia national team  Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Socceroos international Ryan Williams is keen to add to his experiences with the Australia national team Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

And he’s confident he can retain his new-found international status after dropping into League One with Pompey

Williams said: ‘Representing my country is something I’ve wanted for a long time, now I’ve managed to do it.

‘I spoke to the Australian manager who told me that as long as I am fit, playing and playing well then I’ll be in contention.

‘In the past I was with the younger Australian age groups and just when I was making ground got injured.

Pompey new-boy Ryan Williams Picture: Colin Farmery/Portsmouth FC

Pompey new-boy Ryan Williams Picture: Colin Farmery/Portsmouth FC

‘I was injured on and off for about two-and-a-half years, which pulled the handbrake up on my international career – and my normal career as well.

‘For three years I didn’t do pre-season, I couldn't string games together. I had a constant groin injury, it was down to growth, but was misdiagnosed and it dragged on a lot longer than it should have. 

‘Then I went to Rotherham and, for the first time, had my first full season. Then last year I was a regular in the Championship.

‘I’m looking for this to be my best season for where I am now as a player.

‘I think I’ve progressed a lot in the last few years, just from being available, training every day and being available every week.

‘I’ve been injury-free for three seasons now.’

Williams totalled 88 appearances and scored five times during his two Rotherham campaigns.

SEE ALSO: Williams: So great to be back home with Portsmouth - and Gunwharf

With 41 outings last season, it reflects the winger’s rejuvenation, finally overcoming those long-standing injury issues.

Pompey’s academy graduate made his first-team bow in the August 2011 trip to Middlesbrough on the opening day of the campaign.

Aged 17 years, 9 months and 10 days, he went on to amass six Blues appearances, all from the bench.

Yet it wouldn’t be until his move to Rotherham in June 2017 where he discovered regular football.

Now he has returned to Fratton Park, seeking to break into the side on either wing.

Williams added: ‘I can play off both flanks, but am naturally a right footer.

‘I wouldn’t shy away from playing with my left, I am quite happy playing there, but do prefer the right.

‘I played for Australia down the left and that wasn’t a problem for me, that was fine.’