Former Socceroos goalkeeper Clint Bolton believes young shot-stopper Mat Ryan can translate his superb club form to the FIFA World Cup.
The ex-Central Coast gloveman has enjoyed a dream debut season at Belgian side Club Brugge, keeping 13 clean sheets from 37 appearances in the first team.
Ryan's stunning performances and regular game time certainly hasn't gone unnoticed by Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou, with the 22-year-old set to be Australia's number one goal-keeper in Brazil.
Borussia Dortmund number two and former Melbourne Victory star Mitch Langerak is also in contention for that spot.
And while admitting Langerak is at the perfect club to further his development, Bolton is leaning towards Ryan to be the man between the sticks for Australia's opening game of the World Cup against Chile.
"He's playing and playing really well in Belgium and if you think about it, Langerak's the perfect number two because he's doing it now at one of the biggest clubs in Europe," Bolton told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
"Pretty much every time he's called upon at Dortmund he's done the job off the bench so why would you have it any different in the Socceroos set up.
"It seems perfect at this time that that should be the case. Things might happen at the World Cup and that might change but it makes sense to me."
Bolton said he has been impressed with the way Ryan has handled the "tougher environment" in his first season abroad.
But there's not too much tougher than what the Socceroos will face at the World Cup with games against Chile, Netherlands and Spain awaiting them.
The two-time A-League championship winner with Sydney FC has no doubt Ryan is ready to handle the huge examination in Brazil and believes it will be the stepping stone to an even bigger club.
"Off the back of his season in Belgium, he'll be clearly in the shop window for a big move and if he backs that up with a good World Cup I don't think he'll be in Belgium long," Bolton said of Ryan.
"He'll go somewhere else. He's shown he can do it at one level, he has a chance to do it at another level in the World Cup and if meets expectation there and I think he will, there's really no holding him back.
"There was always talk whether he had the height and the build and there are clubs that look at that.
"For Maty he'll probably find it hard to get in the door at some places in Europe but once he's in he'll have no problem because he's quality and he clearly can do the job."
While Ryan and Langerak appear to have the top two spots locked up, the battle for the third goal-keeping position in the squad remains up in the air.
Eugene Galekovic had a superb season with Adelaide and was voted the A-League's best, while Liverpool number two Brad Jones and even Reading's Adam Federici are also in the running.
Bolton believes Galekovic has his nose in front.
"The way he's played this year will suit Ange, with the style of football he's played at Adelaide," Bolton said.
"He's used his feet a lot more and Ange likes that in a goalkeeper, he's been hugely impressive.
"He's the ideal guy to have over there, he's a bit more experienced; he's been around for a while so that will help balance out the two younger guys."
The final chance to see the Socceroos on home soil before they head to Brazil 2014 will be when they take on South Africa in a farewell game on May 26 in Sydney. Tickets for the match, presented by NAB, are on sale now. Click here to secure yours today.
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