Fara Williams to decide on WSL return after World Cup

By Jo CurrieBBC Sport
Fara Williams
Fara Williams has been capped 146 times by England

Liverpool Ladies manager Matt Beard says it will be Fara Williams' decision whether or not she features in Sunday's league match against Arsenal.

Williams played in all seven of England's matches at the World Cup, with the squad only returning from Canada on Monday.

"We'll play it by ear," Beard said.

"I spoke to her at length. She's ok, bit tired which you'd understand with the time difference but obviously we're proud of their achievements out there."

He added: "It's going to be Fara's decision. We'll assess how she feels on Friday and we've got until Sunday to make that decision."

The 31-year-old scored three goals for England during the tournament, including a penalty in the third/fourth place play-off match which clinched the bronze medal for the team.

Fara Williams scored her third goal of the Women's World Cup as England beat Germany to claim the bronze medal

Sunday's game away at Arsenal is Liverpool's first match in nine weeks following the international break.

After a disappointing first half of the season, the reigning champions are currently 5th in the Women Super League One table.

And Beard told BBC Sport that Williams would be vital if they were to retain their title.

"Of course we'd like her to play because she's a key player for us. But at the end of the day we've got to look after the welfare of the player and make sure that for the sake of one game, we get the best out of her over the course of the second half of the season," he added.

"We've got a lot of games in quick succession throughout July and August so we'll sit down and assess that."

Liverpool forward Asisat Oshoala also played at the World Cup with Nigeria but Beard said she returned to Merseyside with no ill effects.

"It was a big learning curve for her. She's benefited from that experience and we were able to give her some time off with them getting knocked out in the group stage so she's fresh and ready to go," he said.