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How Lowe took Williams' career full circle

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Emma Kemp

Perth defender Rhys Williams was probably destined to play under Kenny Lowe before he was even born.

Thirty years ago in 1986, Lowe struck up a friendship with Williams' parents during a stint playing for Spearwood in Perth.

He and his father partnered in midfield, hitting it off to the point that the Glory coach even stayed with the couple before continuing his career in his native England.

Unbeknown to them at the time, that relationship would later help their talented son take his own blossoming career overseas and, after a tough decade at Middlesbrough, entice him home to rediscover himself in the A-League.

"I spent a bit of time with Rhys' dad and mum before he was born," Lowe told AAP.

"That was the connection when Rhys was going over to Europe."

Lowe got Williams his trial at Middlesbrough through their academy manager Dave Parnaby, who quickly signed up the teenage defender.

The English Premier League was the ultimate goal and it seemed destined to become a reality once the Socceroos came calling.

That was until two achilles ruptures kept him sidelined for two years and ruled him out of the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Asian Cup.

Throughout the ordeal Lowe, then assistant coach at Glory, made annual visits home.

Each time gently try to entice Williams into making an A-League move.

"Friends of mine coach at the club so I'd go in and Rhys would be around," Lowe said.

"Each time I bumped into him I said 'if you're ever fed up you can always come back. Your mum will look forward to you coming home'. I just sold it that way."

Last year, Lowe could tell he'd had enough.

As Williams himself put it, the second achilles injury "put the dagger in" and thoughts of premature retirement had crossed his mind.

Then, a few games into his comeback for the under-21s in March he fractured his cheekbone.

To top it off, Middlesbrough decided not to extend his contract just after their promotion to the competition he'd dreamt about most - the Premier League.

He made the decision to reignite his career in Perth, where he could bring up his son closer to his family.

Perth play Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Friday night.

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