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Former Mariner now saving Seagulls

In terms of Australian internationals who are currently plying their trade in the English Premier League, the list is not necessarily all that exhaustive. In fact, just two players from that competition featured in the most recent Socceroos squad.

One of those is Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy, while the other is Mat Ryan of Brighton. These two players may not have any similarities in terms of on-field positions, but they certainly do when it comes to their objectives for the season.

Both of their employers earned promotion from the EFL Championship back in 2016/17 and managed to stay in the English top flight at the first time of asking, and although there would have been celebrations in both camps, the hard work would soon start all over again.

For Ryan it is all about acting as the last line of defence for Brighton; the former Central Coast Mariner has ended up on Britain’s south coast via stints in both Belgium and Spain while playing for a trio of clubs that included Club Brugge and Valencia.

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The 26-year-old has certainly been a safe pair of hands since joining the Seagulls back in the summer of 2017, and although Glenn Murray’s goals at the other end played a huge part in their survival last season, there is no doubting Ryan’s contribution.

The task now is to ward off any symptoms of ‘Second Season Syndrome’, something that to date they have managed to fend off with relative ease, as they start to look up the Premier League table rather than over their shoulders.

And there is a growing belief in the Brighton camp that they won’t get involved in a relegation battle, something that is reflected when you look at the current football betting markets. Bet365 have them at a rather hefty 20/1 to be relegated, a price that perhaps indicates leaving your money in your pocket.

Especially when you consider that after 16 weeks of the season they find themselves 13th in the Premier League table, but more importantly a comfortable seven points ahead of Cardiff, who occupy the place below them.

Brighton’s manager Chris Hughton knows that the clubs cannot afford to rest on their laurels as a couple of defeats could drag them back down the table. However, with the talented Ryan in goal, that is something that is a threat that they should easily be able to ward off.

hughton

Especially if he can turn in the form that saw him keep three successive clean sheets back in October. That run of matches saw Brighton pick up a trio of 1-0 wins, and were it not for the acrobatics of the 26-year-old then the outcome could have been a lot different.

The maturity that he has shown recently between the posts suggests this a goalkeeper that has already reached his prime years; however, there is still scope for the shot-stopper to improve, something that will only benefit both Brighton and perhaps, more importantly, Australia going forward in the years to come.

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avatarThis post was written by a Staff Writer for Ultimate A-League

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