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‘It came as a shock’: How Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan learned of manager’s sacking

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan, whose day job is the shot-stopper for English Premier League side Brighton Hove-Albion, has revealed the unusual circumstances by which he discovered that his side’s manager had been given the sack.

“I was actually in the barbershop and fan came in and was getting his haircut,” Ryan explains to Mark Levy and Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell on Macquarie Sports Radio Breakfast.

“After he finished, he got up and much to his shock, and I can’t quite remember the noise he made, but he said oh my God, Chris Hughton has been sacked,

“That’s how I discovered the news, it came as a shock, he’s a great gentleman of the game, Chris, around the training ground and all that.”

Hughton was shown the door last week after the Seagulls finished 17th in the Premier League, recording just 9 wins for the season.

Brighton has appointed Graham Potter as their new manager on a four-year deal and Mat Ryan says he’ll view the change as a positive.

“I have full faith in our club with the decisions they make, it’s obviously in the best interests of the club, and when pre-season comes around again I’ll be doing everything I can to make this new change hopefully a positive one,” he said.

Ryan, who grew up in Western Sydney and made 80 A-League appearances with the Central Coast Mariners before heading to Europe, continues in the great tradition of Australian custodians who venture overseas to achieve success in top-flight European football leagues.

Players like Mark Schwarzer and Mark Bosnich are household names and Ryan says following in their footsteps is living the dream.

“They’ve obviously set the benchmark in the past and it’s just nice to be over there, following in their footsteps, and ultimately living my dream and doing something that I never thought would be possible growing up as a kid.”

As a fanatical football kid in Western Sydney, football clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal, were titans of global sport who represented the pinnacle of the world game.

When the opportunity eventually came for Mat Ryan to play against these clubs, had to pinch himself – at least in the beginning.

“The longer you’re there, experience tells you and you get used to it

“But even when I’m here talking with mates and they’re mentioning stories and all that, I get that moment to take a step back and realise exactly what I’m doing, the historic stadiums I’m playing at, it still remains surreal.

“I can’t believe what I’m doing, it’s great fun and I’m enjoying every second.”

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