Ryan's mum makes massive sacrifice to join him on trip of a lifetime

Socceroo goalkeeper Maty Ryan's mother, Carol, has quit her job to spend an extended period overseas with her son and enable both of them to make up for lost time with his football career taking him to the other side of the world.

Mat Ryan

Mat Ryan (centre), his sister Megan (left) and mum Carol (right) Source: Instagram / @matyryan

Carol brought Maty and his older sister, Megan, up as a single mum living in western Sydney while working multiple jobs and the family remains incredibly tight.

Megan will be joining part of the trip as well, but for Mrs Ryan it's shaping up as the adventure of a lifetime as she goes back to Scotland, where she was born, visits various other parts of Europe and watches Maty start the new season.

One of the biggest bonuses for the trio is centre-court tickets at the Wimbledon tennis championships, organised by Kim Clijsters, the Belgian former world number one with whom Maty became friends during his time playing for Club Brugge.


Carol said she would have to look for another job when she returns to Australia in October, but that the sacrifice was worth it to spend quality time with her son.

She will be in Adelaide for Australia's critically-important FIFA World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia on Thursday and the friendly against Brazil in Melbourne five days later, before finishing up proper at her job and flying out on her odyssey.

Carol said she, Maty and Megan were looking forward enormously to the quality time they would spend together.

"I asked for leave from my job, but they didn't want to let me take that much time off," Carol told The World Game.

"But I felt this was something I wanted to do right now, while I'm healthy and fit enough, and it was actually Mathew who said to me, 'if you're not happy, do something about it'.

"Goodness knows what might be happening in a few years' time, whether I'd be able to go or whether the kids might be in relationships or have children of their own, so it seemed like good timing.

"I resigned from my job and I'll worry about all that side of things when I get back."

Carol said her and Megan would spend a bit of time in the UK while Maty was playing at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, before linking up with him in London for the tennis.

"That's the plan at this stage, but it depends on how far into the Confederations Cup the Socceroos go," she said.

"The cup final is played the day before Wimbledon starts and it would obviously be great for Mathew to play in that, but if they don't make it that far he'll be able to join Megan and I at Wimbledon.

"Kim Clijsters has always had a big Aussie connection, because she was engaged to Lleyton Hewitt at one stage.

"Maty met her through Belgian sporting circles and they became friends. She has arranged centre-court tickets for the second day of the tournament for us all. That will be fabulous."

Carol says the three of them then plan to spend some time holidaying in Croatia before Maty goes back to Valencia to sort out his future.

Ryan joined another Belgian club, Genk, on loan in January, but hopes to return to the La Liga with Valencia next season.

"Megan will have to come back to Australia because of her own work, but after going to Scotland and catching up with relatives there I'll be joining Mathew in Valencia and hopefully that's where we'll be staying," Carol said.

"He's determined to get back in there.

"I'll be there until the end of September or early October, so I'll be able to go to games and when he has a bit of spare time he can he can show me around Spain a bit.

"If he does end up playing somewhere else, then I'll go with him there, but Valencia is definitely where he wants to be.

"We're obviously hoping the Socceroos qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia and if that happens Megan and I are planning to go and watch Mathew play there, so it could be a very big 12 months coming up."

Carol said the very nature of professional football is that it can take players far away from their loved ones, but that it was a sacrifice they had to be prepared to make if they wanted to reach the top.

"Mathew is chasing his dreams and that's the most important thing," she said.

"We talk a lot on the phone, but there are still a lot of things we miss out on and just to see him in his environment over there, with his friends, and to see him content and happy in his life, is what I'm really looking forward to.

"This time we're going to spend together is important for Mathew, myself and Megan. He doesn't get many chances to come back to Australia, unless it's for a Socceroos game.

"We are a very close family, so this is about making up for lost time for all of us."

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5 min read
Published 5 June 2017 at 3:57pm
By Greg Prichard