Australia legend praises Ryan and backs him to continue as Socceroos number one under new head coach

Mathew Ryan. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Mathew Ryan. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan has been backed to continue as the Socceroos number one by Aussie legend Harry Kewell.

Ryan enjoyed a stand-out first campaign for the Seagulls last season after joining from Valencia. He quickly became a fans' favourite and kept ten clean sheets as Albion finished 15th in the Premier League.

The 26-year-old played all three games as Australia were knocked out in the group stage of the World Cup in Russia this summer and Crawley Town head coach Kewell believes Ryan should '100 per cent' continue in goal under new head coach Graham Arnold.

Arnold, who has previously worked with Ryan in the A-League at Central Coast Mariners, was named in March the successor to Dutchman Bert van Marwijk, who led the Socceroos during their World Cup campaign.

Kewell, who was capped 56 times by the Socceroos, said: "Maty should be the number one, 100 per cent.

"Unless we have another keeper who comes to a Premier League club and does the exact same or better than Maty Ryan, he should be the number one. He's playing at the highest level."

Talking about Ryan's World Cup, Kewell said: "I thought he was fantastic. I thought the back-four, the midfielders were excellent and even the strikers when they were working in the defensive and middle third.

"It was just the final product we missed, that's it."