Ryan and Mooy can be the new Kewell and Viduka

Aaron Mooy, Australia, Brighton & Hove Albion, English Premier League, FIFA World Cup Qualifying - AFC, Leagues, Mathew Ryan, Story
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Mathew Ryan is excited to see how teaming up with Aaron Mooy at club level will benefit Australia’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

Mooy has joined Ryan at Premier League club Brighton on a season-long loan, reuniting the pair for the first time since their days at Westfields Sport High School in Sydney.

While Mooy is yet to start a league match for the Seagulls, Ryan is hopeful the pair will go on to emulate successful Socceroo pairings at English clubs such as Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka at Leeds, Viduka and Craig Moore at Newcastle plus Brett Emerton and Lucas Neill at Blackburn.

“Anywhere where you’ve got Aussies playing together, let alone in the heights of the Premier League, is always a nice feeling and a nice achievement,” Ryan told AAP.

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“I know that’s going to make us as a national team better.

“I don’t need to comment on his qualities as a player. He’s demonstrated that at that level and for the Socceroos on a world stage as well. He’s definitely a signing that brings a lot to our team and improves our team.

“I’ve no doubt he’s going to get a lot of game time this year and fingers crossed we can get a lot of game time together and achieve some nice things there at Brighton.”

The pair have been included in Australia’s squad for Tuesday’s opening World Cup 2022 qualifier against Kuwait.

The match will be Ryan’s first for his country since January’s Asian Cup, with the 27-year-old goalkeeper skipping June’s friendly against South Korea for a rare break from football in the European offseason.

During his break, Ryan returned to Australia and took in NRL games at Parramatta as well as visiting the NSW State of Origin team at training.

Mathew Ryan is excited to see how teaming up with Aaron Mooy at club level will benefit Australia’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

He says the time off, and the arrival of a new manager at Brighton in Graham Potter, had got him mentally fresh ahead of Australia’s qualifying campaign.

Having played a part in the 2014 and 2018 qualifying campaigns as well as playing at both tournaments, Ryan said the lure of a third World Cup appearance was all the motivation he needs before beginning another long slog across Asia.

“The cherry at the end when you achieve that qualification is one of the best cherries in the game,” he said.

“A tournament like this … it only comes around every four years and then the experiences you have when you get to the tournament it’s like no other.

“The journey you go on in order to get there makes it even more special and you’ve got to enjoy that.”

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