The 2017/18 English Premier League season kicks off this weekend with Caltex Socceroos number one Mat Ryan set to face EPL big guns Manchester City for his new club Brighton and Hove Albion.
RYAN HITS THE BIG TIME
Ryan joined newly promoted Brighton for their first season in the Premier League.
The Caltex Socceroos stopper arrived in June for a then club-record five-million pound fee on a five-year deal from his Spanish club Valencia (he spent the last half of last season on loan at a Belgian club).
The ambitious Seagulls have since signed Dutch midfielder Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven for a reported six million pounds, and were active in the transfer market this week as they look to strengthen for what will surely be a massive test of their credentials.
There'll be a baptism of fire for Ryan as Brighton welcome Manchester City to Falmer Stadium on opening weekend this Sunday morning (AEDT).
Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho.
Imagine that lot running at you with ball at feet! Then there's Gabriel Jesus.
Ryan will have to draw on all his athleticism and ability to repel their combined forces.
A SIZZLING SEASON START
PICKING UP POINTS
Following that, Brighton visit Leicester City and Watford.
Then it’s onto Caltex Socceroos duty for crucial World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand before a return to Brighton to round out the first month of the season at home to West Bromwich Albion and away to Bournemouth.
That's not a bad run of games.
History would suggest a club that’s likely to be among the relegation contenders (as Brighton are) stand a far higher chance of survival if they can collect early points.
That way, they don't get dragged into a battle late in the season to avoid the trap-door straight back into the Championship.
MATY MUST STAND TALL
Ryan will be absolute crucial to the Seagulls' campaign.
He is a direct replacement for David Stockdale who has moved to Birmingham City after three seasons as undisputed number one at Brighton.
With newly-promoted sides often taking time to adjust to the pace of the Premier League, Ryan's goal will regularly come under siege.
As he has previously for the Central Coast Mariners, Club Brugge, Genk and the Caltex Socceroos, Australia's top 'keeper will have to be at the very top of his game.
A mistake in a friendly against Atletico Madrid wasn't expected, but Ryan recovered to win the sponsor's man of the match award.
Mat Ryan has an exciting season ahead as the best in the world come up against this most ambitious of clubs from the south coast of England.
Cahill's Jamshedpur remain unbeaten in Indian Super League
Tim Cahill’s unbeaten start to life in the Indian Super League has continued with his Jamshedpur drawing 1-1 with ATK overnight. In his first home appearance for his new club, Australia’s greatest-ever goalscorer started in attack and played 74 minutes before he was substitute
Aussies Abroad: Milestone moment for Leckie in Bundesliga
Mathew Leckie has reached an impressive milestone after again featuring for Hertha Berlin as they continued their strong start to the season in the Bundesliga. The Caltex Socceroos winger came off the bench for the last 28 minutes as Hertha drew 1-1 with Freiburg in Berlin.
Aussies Abroad: Rogic stars in clash of Caltex Socceroos, Ryan and Mabil impress
In-form Caltex Socceroos star Tom Rogic produced a man-of-the-match performance in Celtic’s 4-2 Scottish Premiership win over Hibernian on Sunday morning (AEDT). Rogic - who netted in Australia’s 4-0 friendly win over Kuwait on Tuesday - scored an outstanding goal and then pro
Milicic ‘extremely proud’ of Young Socceroos comeback
Young Socceroos boss Ante Milicic praised his side’s “strong Australian mentality” after they battled back to salvage a 1-1 draw in their AFC U-19 Championship opener against Korea Republic. Melbourne City’s Ramy Najjarine came off the bench to score a stunning 89th-minute equ