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Nicola Williams: 'Taking a group of players through promotion will stay with me forever'

Nicola Williams joins London City Lionesses after an action-packed year of international and domestic football.

The Australian started last season in the Barclays Women’s Super League with Leicester City, before joining Papua New Guinea’s playoff qualification campaign for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Williams, appointed to the role of First Team Assistant Coach on Saturday [24 June], told that she is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead in an exclusive one-to-one interview.

Nicola Williams, London City Lionesses

“There were a number of factors that attracted me to London City,” explains the 41-year-old, “being in the [Barclays Women’s] Championship is exciting because the league is becoming much more competitive. The Club also has an ambitious project to win promotion in the future, which aligns with my personal goals.”

Williams has already experienced the thrill of promotion from the touchline and is keen to add another trophy to her collection.

The Lancaster-born coach played an important role with S.S. Lazio in 2020-21, guiding the Biancoceleste to the Serie B title and a place in Italy’s first division as an assistant.

“Football can take you around the world,” says the 41-year-old, recapping her favourite moments in the sport.

“Looking for full-time opportunities [in women’s football] was difficult initially, but the situation is different now that the game is worldwide and having those opportunities to travel has been a highlight.

“I also really enjoyed my time with the national team in Trinidad & Tobago, working for an association trying to qualify for its first [Women’s] World Cup and experiencing new cultures in football and life was great.

“Following that, the launch of the professional leagues in Italy was an important moment. Joining A.C. Milan in their first season was a really big step, but winning promotion with Lazio – and taking a group of players through that experience – is something that will stay with me forever.”

Williams, who worked as a teacher before her transition to life as a full-time coach, joins the Pride at the perfect time and will provide a wealth of knowledge over the course of her two-year contract with the Club.

The former midfielder launched her touchline career as the head coach of Perth Glory, leading the W-League outfit to a fifth-place finish in their inaugural season. Williams has toured the world as an assistant and development coach since, with roles spanning the Caribbean, Europe, and Oceania.

“Coaching is about working with people – it’s about the day-to-day interactions that you have,” she says of her experiences in the beautiful game.

“We work with players to help them improve; it isn’t just about winning the game at the weekend. It’s about developing a rapport with players and challenging them while making sure that they are enjoying training. It’s gratifying when something you have worked on through the week plays out on matchday.”

Fortunately, Williams will be back on the training pitch in a matter of weeks. London City return for preseason in mid-July, with a slate of exhibition fixtures just around the corner.

“It has come around really quickly, but I can’t wait to get started with the team in preseason,” adds Williams.

Stay tuned for further news and updates throughout the offseason by following London City Lionesses on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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