Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Maty Ryan expressed his excitement after Australia’s 2018 World Cup draw that was confirmed on Friday afternoon.
The Socceroos have been pitted against France, Denmark and Peru in the group stages of next summer’s finals in Russia and the Albion stopper was pleased with how the draw has panned out.
He said, “It’s exciting for everyone, but I wasn’t really thinking about it too much and was just happy to be involved in the tournament.
“When you get to this stage every opponent will be difficult - the positives to take are that one game is at our base camp in Kazan and the other two aren’t far away from there.
“First up we have France who’ll be one of the favourites for the tournament as a whole. If you want to be competitive in the World Cup then that’s a good measure and after that, the other two opponents are teams who also came through the play-offs so we’re happy with that.”
Ryan also emphasised that representing his country at the highest stage would be the highlight of his time in the game to date.
“It’s the pinnacle really, the experience in Brazil in 2014 was my biggest learning curve in football and ever since I’ve craved that level and it’s somewhere I want to play at consistently.
“It only comes around every four years and so there’s no better feeling than representing your country at a World Cup as a footballer.”
Australia were seeded in pot four of Friday afternoon’s draw in Moscow, having beaten Hondruas over two legs in the play-offs last month.
Even though they now know who they’ll face, Ryan insisted their game-plan wouldn’t change based on their group stage opponents, pointing to the team’s style as being a mainstay of their play whoever the opposition.
“I don’t think the draw changes it too much because one thing we’ve set our team identity on is our style, being possession based and pressing sides.
“Now we’ve got a change with the head coach stepping down, but going forward we have no fear against anyone, that’s drilled into us.
“The opponents we’re facing don’t change that, we just want to create a memorable tournament both for ourselves as players and for our country, so hopefully we can do that.”