Matildas great Lydia Williams (right) with Talkin' It Up host Megan Waters. Picture: AFL Studios

WHAT does a retired professional sportsperson do with their career once the bright lights and thrill of the crowd fade away?

It's a question that athletes across the world grapple with. Fortunately for Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams, her recent announcement that she will retire after the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris came as a something of a relief.


And with a diverse CV that includes two decades standing in goal as an international soccer player, as well as being a qualified zookeeper and also authoring two children's book, the 36-year-old has plenty of options as she contemplates life after professional sport. 

Williams, a proud Noongar woman, joins host Megan Waters for the latest episode of Talkin' It Up, where she also discusses growing up with an Indigenous father and American mother, and why she's always advocated for women in sport - and their right to equal pay. 

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"I feel like a weight has kind of been lifted off my shoulders. The pressure's gone. I've said it, I've put it out there, I've made peace with it," Williams said of her decision to hang up her gloves and boots. 

"The process to get to that point, though, was quite difficult over a number of years – you know, dipping in form, getting back in form, players coming through, had a change of role – and a lot of that you end up questiobing yourself and if you can still do it? What does it mean, and what's next?

"So I went through that for quite a number of years, so it's just working through those emotions and what'll it be like, and how to let go, and finally over the last six months I've really sat down, thought about it and it's felt like the right time, and I'm also really lucky that I get to make the call and no one else gets to do that for me."


Talkin' It Up is a new AFL podcast hosted by Megan Waters, and includes football legends from players to coaches and those who have been touched by the game we love.

Join them as they create a safe space to chat about their lives and experiences, exploring culture and connection and sharing stories about how football brings us together. 

Don't miss a minute! Subscribe to Talkin' It Up NOW at Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google or watch each Tuesday on or the AFL Live Official App.