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RYAN DRAWN BY PREMIER LEAGUE INCENTIVE

17 June 2017

Reuters
Mathew Ryan is delighted to be joining the Seagulls in the Premier League.

New Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan expressed his happiness after signing a five-year deal with the club yesterday, and highlighted playing in the Premier League as a big incentive behind his move from Valencia.

The Australia international, who is currently at this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia, joined the Seagulls for a club-record transfer fee, and he revealed his excitement ahead of his move to England.

He said, “I’m over the moon to have it all sorted, there are some really exciting times coming up. It’s a great club, due to their achievement in the Championship to go up to the Premier League.

“One of the biggest carrots was being in the Premier League. I’m a footballer and everybody wants to challenge themselves at the highest level - and obviously with the Premier League you get that.

“It’s still very fresh news that I’ll be going over there and a little surreal. Going there to the play in the Premier League is a very exciting challenge.

“From all reports and what I’ve heard, it’s an exciting time to be around the club and I’m looking forward to getting over there after the Confederations Cup.”

Ryan joins a list of Australian footballers to grace the Premier League - including both Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, and the 25-year-old is looking forward to settling on the south coast of England, while also making a positive impact in goal for the Seagulls.

“The names that you mentioned have had illustrious histories as Australian footballers playing over there, and hopefully I can go over there and repeat what they’ve done with their careers.

“I can’t talk from experience, but from watching and talking to the boys that have played in the Premier League - it’s a real competitive league.

“I knew of some interest in the past, when Brighton were in the Championship. Since they came up, the common theme of conversation is about what a place it is to live - down there on the south coast of England.

“I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place and has some of the best weather that England has to offer. That’s always a bonus but obviously I’m there for football; so rain, hail or shine, I’ll be there to contribute as best as I can.”

The shot-stopper kept 11 clean sheets in 24 games while on loan at KRC Genk from Valencia last season, and Ryan believes his all-round game can help the team next season, as he favours an attractive style of football.

“Talking with the manager [Chris Hughton] and the goalkeeping coach [Ben Roberts] before signing, and speaking to the other Aussie boys that play in the Championship - they say they’re one of the teams that like to play football out from the back.

“I like to think that’s one of my strengths; I’m pretty comfortable with the ball at my feet and can hopefully use that aspect of my game to help the team.

“Hopefully we can play some good football from the back and play through the lines. Aside from that, as a goalkeeper it’s important to be a good shot-stopper as well.

“There are no easy games and I relish that kind of situation. There’s no better feeling than walking off the pitch knowing you’ve played well as a team and got the three points.”

“It’s the most enjoyable feeling in football and something that I live my life for. Hopefully there will be plenty of those moments with Brighton. The project is really exciting and I’m excited to get stuck in.”


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