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Injured Ryan eyes Socceroos return against China in crucial World Cup qualifier

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“I’m confident that I will be, having no major setbacks or anything like that. At this stage I haven’t heard too much on that front, where that game’s going to be played. I know as much as you at the minute.”

Ryan is a contender to become the next permanent captain of the Socceroos and is one of the team’s most important players, especially after the shock retirement earlier this year of Mitch Langerak, who had been mounting a strong challenge to unseat him as Australia’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Ryan has not played regular football since early last season, before he was suddenly frozen out of first-team action at Brighton and Hove Albion. A short loan spell at Arsenal followed, but he played only three senior games.

A permanent switch to the Gunners was not on the cards, Ryan said, after learning at the end of the season that the English Premier League club was seeking to sign a home-grown goalkeeper instead.

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Nor was there any “concrete interest” from ex-Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, despite rumours that he was keen to bring Ryan with him to Scottish club Celtic.

Instead, Ryan opted for a second stint in Spain, where he had two turbulent seasons at Valencia between 2015 and 2017 before joining Brighton, and is hopeful he can regain consistent fitness and form at his new club.

“I want to be out playing every week, that’s my motivation to work hard and all that,” he said.

“But I showed myself in the last period I had there at Arsenal where I didn’t play so often, but I placed extra emphasis on wanting to train well and train hard … when your opportunities come, you’re still able to go out and do a job.

“Over the last four or five months, I didn’t get the run of games that I wanted, week in, week out, but I was really happy with the level I played at when I did get the opportunities, both for Arsenal and the Socceroos in June when we got back together finally.

“My period here last time in Spain didn’t play out as smoothly as I would have hoped. There’s a little bit of unfinished business, so to speak, in that sense. But I also feel like I’m a much different and more experience and probably, for that, better goalkeeper now than I was back then.”

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