The budding central defensive pairing between Rhys Williams and James Donachie had its first hit-out on Tuesday night in Melbourne Victory’s 3-0 win against Port Melbourne.
Williams played almost 80 minutes in Victory’s pre-season opener and relished the opportunity to play alongside Donachie.
“He’s (Donachie) a quality player, that’s why he’s here,” Williams said post-match.
“I’ve been training for three or four weeks with the team, and already I can feel a partnership with him.
“It was good all round, and to get the 3-0 win and a clean sheet sets us off nicely.”
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A pre-match downpour at JL Murphy Reserve made conditions tricky at times, but Victory looked more composed the longer the match went on.
“We’re working hard, we’re well driven. Obviously it’s still early, but to get results like this on a difficult surface against a team that was hungry is good,” Williams said.
“It’s great to get minutes under the belt, good to gel with my new teammates and some of the young boys can get in and show they deserve a chance as well.
“It’s under our belt now and we look forward to next week.”
Three youngsters were on the scoresheet, with 19-year-old Callum Goulding, 17-year-old Christian Theoharous and 18-year-old Pierce Waring scoring.
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Williams was impressed by not only the goal scorers, but all the younger players who saw game time.
“They’ve all got a chance to show their worth now. Pre-season is a great opportunity for young boys to stake a claim to be in the squad.
“The boys did well tonight, you can trust them with the ball and you see three young boys scoring the goals, it’s great for their confidence.”
With Williams now well and truly settled in to Melbourne life, he’s casting his eyes forward to the upcoming season.
“It feels like I’m in England again with the weather,” Williams laughed.
“The boys have been great, the manager and the coaches have been great and it’s a place where everyone is driven to win and we’re expected to win every game.
“That’s what I want to do, I want to win everything this season.”