Williams on the comeback trail

In encouraging news for Ange Postecoglou, Socceroos defender Rhys Williams has made a successful return to the pitch for Middlesbrough under-21s overnight.

The injury-plagued 27-year-old got through the full 90 minutes in his first match in over a year as Boro went down 3-2 against Reading under-21s.

There were some strong signs from Williams, who looked solid in possession and made some important interceptions, also picking up a booking late on.

Williams has endured a torrid time with injury over the last couple of years, returning this time for a long-term achilles tendon injury.

The Perth-born defender originally ruptured his achilles in January 2014 and then suffered a recurrence of the same problem just two games into his comeback.

He also had to withdraw from the Socceroos World Cup squad for South Africa 2010 due to a groin problem.

But after a solid 90 minutes with Boro’s youngster, Williams will be hoping this is the start of a return to first-team action – and possibly the Socceroos.

Williams has 14 caps for Australia and his versatility could make him a huge asset for coach national team coach Postecoglou heading towards Russia 2018.