Ryan playing for keeps

The Central Coast Mariners have taken another key step as they plan for the future, by securing exciting young goalkeeper Mathew Ryan for the next three Hyundai A-League seasons.

The Central Coast Mariners have taken another key step as they plan for the future, by securing exciting young goalkeeper Mathew Ryan for the next three Hyundai A-League seasons.

Ryan has deputised for regular custodian Danny Vukovic three times already this campaign and also joined Andrew Redmayne in the senior squad once while Vukovic was on international duty, and the 17-year-old has joined a youthful Mariners travelling party for the final match of the 2009/10 season in Wellington.

“Mathew has been a key component of the successful National Youth League side this season and we have watched with keenness his development under the likes of (goalkeeping coach) John Crawley and of course Danny Vukovic and Andrew Redmayne,” said Mariners executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

“We have always prided ourselves as a club on rewarding outstanding young talent, and we hope we can help develop Mathew into one of the country-s top goalkeepers.”

A product of the famed Westfields Sports High School football programme, Ryan came through the ranks at Blacktown City before taking part in the Central Coast-s second NYL campaign. He will make his fifth appearance on the bench in tomorrow-s Hyundai A-League clash with Wellington Phoenix.

“I didn-t really expect this at the start of the season but I-ve loved my time here at the Mariners so far and it-s exciting to know I-ll be part of the senior squad for the next three years,” said Ryan.

“Vuka (Danny Vukovic) is an awesome ‘keeper and I want to keep learning off him, because I never know when I might get a chance.”

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna has named six National Youth League regulars, including Ryan, for the trip across the Tasman, as he has to deal with a squad decimated by injury and suspension.

“Taking young boys like Mat on trips like this is a great experience for them and I-m sure they-ll all do very well. He-s done very well for the youth side and it-s a bit like Danny in that he-s come through so young, we just hope he proves to be as successful as Danny has done,” said McKinna.

“Pedj (Bojic) is suspended and we-ve got a few other injuries, so Matty, Panny Nikas, Matthew Lewis, Nick Fitzgerald, Brady Smith and Bernie Ibini-Isei have all been given the chance, and it-s up to them to take it.”

On top of the already extensive injury list, Nathan Sherlock suffered a leg injury at training in Wellington this morning, meaning a late call up for Bernie Ibini-Isei.

“Nathan-s gutted, he would have been making his debut so it-s not good for him, but Bernie will come over and it gives another young guy a chance.

“It-s a hard place to come for any team, they-ve (Wellington) not lost a game at home for years (October 2008 v Queensland Roar), but we-re coming off the back of a great win over Newcastle, our local rivals, and we-ll go there confident of getting a result,” said McKinna.

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 8): Wellington Phoenix wins 3, Central Coast Mariners wins 3 (2 draws)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. DIEGO, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 15. Eugene DADI, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 40. Liam REDDY (gk)
*two to be omitted*

In: DIEGO (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Mark PASTON (gk) (leg – season)

Central Coast Mariners: 2. Matthew CROWELL, 3. Shane HUKE, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Brady, SMITH, 10. Panny NIKAS, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 24. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 29. Nick FITZGERALD, 30. Mathew RYAN (GK)??

In: Dylan MACALLISTER (promoted), Nick FITZGERALD (promoted), 24. Bernie IBINI-ISEI (promoted)??

Out: Pedj BOJIC (suspended), Adam KWASNIK (thigh – 2 weeks), Chris DOIG (groin – indefinite)??

Unavailable: Pedj BOJIC (suspended), Adam KWASNIK (thigh – 2 weeks), Chris DOIG (groin – indefinite), Nicky TRAVIS (hip flexor – 1 week), John HUTCHINSON (ankle – 10 weeks), Jonathan BROWN (groin – 2 weeks), Ahmad ELRICH (ankle – indefinite)

Referee: Chris BEATH