Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Maty Ryan is hoping that Australia’s exploits in this summer’s World Cup finals can inspire the next generation of Socceroos.
Bert van Marwijk’s side head to next month’s tournament in Russia scheduled to face France, Denmark and Peru in the group stages, and the Albion stopper spoke defiantly about players from the nation and their experiences within the game.
He said, “We want our performances in Russia to inspire all of the young footballers and people in Australia – I think that it requires something extra to be a footballer for our country.
“We have to give up so much more than other players to play in the big leagues, there’s all sorts of factors like travel and time, as well as everything else that goes with the game.
“European players sometimes don’t experience those things as much and it takes another level of sacrifice in my opinion for ourselves.
Ryan was ever-present for the Seagulls last season, playing all 38 Premier League matches during his debut season in England.
He discussed the pride that he takes from representing his country on the national stage, as well as looking ahead to the expectations on him and the team ahead of the competition.
“Being an Australian footballer means you always try to take something extra from that little bit of adversity that we have to overcome, and we’re always trying to find areas where we can gain advantages over other nations.
“It’s one of those things where you’ll always get people who are willing to give everything even when they’re up against the wall and we will fight until the very end.
“I don’t think we go to the finals with too much pressure, we just want to do the nation proud. Whenever you’re successful you feel proud as a fan.
"We want to perform and help the nation feel that sense of pride for their country at the World Cup.”