Mat Ryan was only a young boy when he was thrusted into first-team for his competitive debut for Central Coast Mariners back in August of 2010.
Before making his Socceroos debut in 2012, the young shot-stopper had idolized his childhood hero of Mark Schwarzer and now the nearly 70-time Socceroo has had a lengthy career across Europe and the 29-year-old wants to influence the younger generation of Australian keepers.
After 80 impressive games for the Mariners, the Plumpton-born boy was rewarded with a move to Club Brugge who played their trade-in Belgium’s top-flight, and it was there where Ryan broke onto the world-wide football scene.
Speaking on Triple M’s Breakfast show on Monday morning, Mathew Ryan spoke of the crucial upcoming qualifier against Japan on Thursday night and how they influence the team has on children around the nation.
“I’m feeling good and that is music to my ears, the public when we get back there to play this big game is going to be of importance,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to a big and successful night for us a nation.
Ever since Mat Ryan came onto the scene as a professional player over 12 years ago, the 29-year-old came to the realisation that kids can have the biggest impact on a footballer and seeing their emotion on the sideline provides the players with joy.
“Ever since I came onto the scene as a professional it’s the kids that put the biggest smiles on your faces,” he explained.
“To see their excitement there on the sidelines being caught up in the moment if the player acknowledges them or gives them a high-five, I remember as a kid I used to do that.
Ryan discussed how big the triumph would be if the Socceroos were to knock off Japan on Thursday night.
“The bigger the challenge, the greater the triumph and it’s going to be exactly that,” he told.
“On Thursday night, the squad is very excited for the occasion in hopefully what is going to be a packed stadium.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)
Matchday 9: Australia v Japan
Date: Thursday, 24 March 2022
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia
Kick-off: 8.10pm AEDT
Tickets: Tickets available from Ticketek
Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play