David Williams celebrates after scoring for Wellington Phoenix (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
David Williams celebrates after scoring for Wellington Phoenix (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Williams wanted to ‘come home’

FORMER Roar prodigy David Williams has revealed his interest in "coming home" to the three-time A-League champions before accepting a deal with Indian Super League club ATK.

Following a standout A-League season - including 11 goals - for Wellington Phoenix, the 31-year-old Brisbane product leaves for India in a month to prepare for his maiden ISL campaign.

Williams will be joined by his former Phoenix teammate Roy Krishna and another ex-Roar whiz-kid, Dario Vidosic, at the Kolkata-based club.

And while the attacking weapon is excited about the latest chapter in a football journey that has included stints in Denmark (Brondby) and Hungary (Haladás), he admitted a possible return to the Roar - now coached by his former North Queensland Fury teammate Robbie Fowler - had excited him.

"I was very interested in that," said Williams, who played two games for the then Queensland Roar as a 17-year-old in the inaugural A-League season before departing for Europe.

"I would have been keen to come home … and there were some initial conversations.

"But it just didn't fall into place. I'm at the age now where I need to look after myself and my young family, and be a little bit selfish."

Williams and his wife Madeleine recently welcomed the arrival of their second son, Rudi, a brother for two-year-old Hugo.

"A lot of people have negative things to say about the Indian league, but India has one of the biggest cultures in the world to explore and will open our eyes to a lot of things," he said.

Williams also got in contact with another former Roar player, midfielder Erik Paartalu, as he weighed up the merits of a move to ATK.

Paartalu has been with ISL club Bengaluru since 2017, and helped them to a championship last season.

"I wanted to know what to expect and from what Erik said, I didn't have any reason to change my mind about moving to India," Williams said.

He said it was a pleasant surprise to be moving to ATK with Fijian striker Krishna, whose form last season with the Phoenix earned him the Johnny Warren Medal, which is awarded to the A-League's player of the year.

"We were both approached and I thought it was going to be one or the other going there, so it's great that both of us have ended up there," the Pine Hills, Westside and Mitchelton junior said.

"It gives us the chance to keep our strike partnership together."