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Ryan joins Brighton on club record fee

Press Association logoPress Association 6 days ago Ben McKay

Brighton and Hove Albion have smashed their transfer record to sign Socceroos gloveman Mat Ryan, who will become the latest Australian to keep goal in the English Premier League.

The 25-year-old joins the promoted club on a five-year deal after former club Valencia had accepted a fee of 6.5 million euro (A$9.55 million).

Speaking from Sochi, where he is based ahead of Australia's Confederations Cup campaign, Ryan says he can't wait to get started.

"As a footballer, you want to be testing yourself at the highest level and I'm definitely going to get that at Brighton," he said.

"Achieving promotion to the Premier League ... it was one of the big carrots.

"They've been so close in previous years and finally they got what they deserved. I can't wait to go over and contribute."

Ryan leaves Valencia after battling to be first choice at the Spanish powerhouse.

He was loaned to Belgian club Genk for the last half of the season and insists he has no bad feelings about his two years in Spain.

"There's no doubt I would have preferred more game time but I'm a believer that everything happens for a reason," he said.

Ryan said he chose Brighton ahead of a "few other clubs" because of their early interest.

The Sydney native has posted a fond farewell to Valencia on Instagram, and will join the Seagulls on July 1.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said he was delighted Ryan was "going to a place that he's wanted".

"What he'd been through at Valencia was obviously very tough," he said.

"The Premier League's a fantastic competition and I think it will bring out the best in someone like Maty."

His new boss Chris Hughton said he was delighted to attract Ryan.

"For somebody of Mathew's age, he has very good experience, having played in the top divisions in Australia, Belgium and Spain. He has also competed in European competition and made a number of appearances at international level," he said.

The former Central Coast and Club Brugge player follows in the footsteps of legendary Australian goalkeepers in the English Premier League such as Mark Bosnich and Mark Schwarzer.

Ryan said it was never his intention to do so.

"Growing up as a kid, I preferred my sleep a little bit more than to be up at the early hours watching a lot of football," he said.

"I've never been one to have either a team or a league (I want to play in). I just want to get to the best league I could ... and this is a massive league."

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