The Premier League returns this weekend with a few Caltex Socceroos set to be in action, including goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
The shot-stopper enjoyed a superb debut campaign in the EPL with Brighton & Hove Albion last season and will again be the Seagulls No.1 in 2018/19.
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With 10 clean sheets across his 38 league appearances, Ryan made an incredible 124 saves (3.3 per game) which saw him rank third in the entire Premier League.
Ryan was crucial for his team, pulling off two penalties saves – including a season-defining one in stoppage time stop to deny Stoke City’s Charlie Adam to secure a draw for his side.
Chris Hughton’s men surprised many by surviving relegation last season but will now look to build on their 15th-place finish, which included memorable wins over Arsenal and Manchester United.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION’S PRE-SEASON RESULTS
St Gallen 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Crawley Town 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion
AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Charlton Athletic 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Portsmouth 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Birmingham City 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Nice 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Nantes
After a string of excellent outings for the Caltex Socceroos in Russia, Ryan had a well-deserved holiday, which included a stop back in Australia where he took in a spot of fishing.
It wasn’t until July 19 that he returned to England and immediately got back into training with Hughton’s squad, who already had three pre-season clashes under their belt.
“It’s come around so fast and I feel like I haven't stopped since last season, but I’m tremendously excited after all the experiences we went through during the last campaign,” Ryan said in an interview on Brighton’s official website.
“Coming into this season, there’s the same challenge of going out there and giving our all.
“Hopefully we can show what we learned from our first season and implement those lessons.
“We’ve had a few changes of personnel and hopefully that’s strengthened the squad to give us a better chance of building on what we did last time.”
Ryan, 26, has featured in the last four games for Brighton, including the most recent match against French Ligue 1 side Nantes, which ended in a 2-1 win for the Seagulls.
Brighton opens their campaign on the road, travelling to London to play Watford at midnight on Saturday (AEST).
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