• Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan is looking forward to a new challenge in England (PA Wire)Source: PA Wire
The opportunity to prove himself at the highest level in the Premier League with Brighton & Hove Albion was too good to turn down for Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Philip Micallef

22 Jul 2017 - 5:00 AM  UPDATED 22 Jul 2017 - 5:00 AM

Ryan joined the South Coast club from Valencia in the off-season after a six-month loan period with Belgium's Genk and at the weekend he revealed the reason he chose to leave the Spanish big guns.

"I always had the attitude of wanting to contribute to the team and enjoy the success," he said in Brighton as he prepares for the opening match of the premiership against Manchester City in mid-August.

"For me, that's where you create the best memories, memories you're going to remember and tell your grandkids about one day.

"I felt like I had a bigger chance to do that at Brighton than at Valencia and I'm very happy to be here. It's all ahead of me now and I want to prepare myself to help the team.

"Fingers crossed we can go out there and do what we need to do to become a mainstay in the Premier League."

Ryan, who was a key member of Australia's team that won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, said his ambition was always to test himself at the highest possible level for club and country.

So being part of the glamorous Premier League that is watched by tens of millions every week would appear to be the peak of his personal ambition.

"I never really had a goal in terms of which league to play in," he explained.

"I always wanted to play at the highest level and test myself against the best teams and players.

"I had a taste of that at the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and playing in Spain and Belgium too.

"I would've liked to gain more of that experience in Spain but it wasn't to be due to the circumstances that unfolded there."

Ryan said he was touched by the kindness shown to the club's new signings since he opted to join the Seagulls, who will be making their return to the English top flight after 34 years.

"Everyone has been so kind since I arrived and gone out of their way to make sure myself and the new players are settling in well," he said.

How Ryan helped Vukovic seal deal with Genk
A-League championship-winning goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has revealed the key role played by fellow gloveman Mat Ryan in his transfer from Sydney FC to Belgian club KRC Genk.

"The boys have been very friendly and respectful and you feel a real excitement and buzz around the club at the moment. It's very exciting to be here.

"I had a stroll in the street and there seems to be a good buzz around the place, everyone is out enjoying themselves and having a good time. One of things I heard about Brighton when they were first interested in me, was that it was the best place to live in England to live in the south.

"So far it's not been too bad and there's only been one day with typical English weather with a bit of rain and mist, but apart from that there's been plenty of sunshine. I am feeling really settled and happy to be here."

Ryan is expected to keep goal for Australia in next month's crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Japan in Saitama outside Tokyo.