Bengaluru FC signed Australian attacker Ryan Williams on a one-year-deal with an optional one-year extension, the Indian Super League (ISL) club announced on Saturday.
Williams, who most recently turned out for Perth Glory FC in the A-League, has had stints across clubs in Australia and England, was part of Australia’s U20 and U23 teams, and has been capped by the Socceroos.
“I’m really excited to sign for Bengaluru FC. The club’s ambition aligns with mine and it’s what really pushed it over the line. I’ve been in contact with a few people at the club and they’ve made me feel welcome before I’ve even got there. I get a really good feeling about the club and everyone connected to the club,” Williams said, after the completion of formalities on his deal.
Having started his career with Perth Redstar FC (formerly ECU Joondalup) alongside brothers Aryn and Rhys, Williams moved to England and signed a scholarship deal with Portsmouth Academy as a 16-year-old, in 2010.
“I have a few mates who have played in India, and they have said nothing but good things about the League and especially about Bengaluru. I’ve heard the West Block is unreal on matchday so I’m excited to see it when I’m on the pitch! Coming to Bengaluru gives me an unbelievable chance to win silverware, especially with the manager we have and having Sunil Chhetri on your team helps as well! I know the BFC fans are really passionate and love the club, and I’m really looking forward to meeting them,” Williams added.
Williams was promoted to the Pompey first-team the following year, and made six appearances in the Championship before moving to Fulham in 2012.
Loan stints at Gillingham, Oxford United and Barnsley would follow, before a permanent move to the Tykes in 2015. Williams was part of the Barnsley side that gained promotion to the Championship in 2016.
“We’re delighted to sign Ryan. He’s a versatile player who can play in a number of attacking positions and also in midfield, if needed. He’s a player who I know well from his days in England. He’s really experienced and was hungry to come to India and Bengaluru FC when I spoke to him about the opportunity.
“He’s got a fantastic winning mentality and attitude towards the sport, and I’m really looking forward to working with him,” said Blues’ boss Simon Grayson.
Bengaluru, which announced the signing of English striker Curtis Main last week, has now further bolstered its attack with Williams, who was part of the EFL League One Playoffs in 2018 with Rotherham, and finished as the runner-up in the EFL Trophy on his return to Portsmouth in 2020.
“We’re really delighted to have a player of Williams’ caliber in our squad, who has bags of experience and pace that can trouble opposition defenders. Williams comes with a character and mentality that will greatly benefit our dressing room. The motive is to add more goals to our tally from last season and his signature is another step in that direction,” said Blues’ Director of Football, Darren Caldeira.
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