Socceroos' keeper focusing on EPL rise

Mat Ryan is confident Brighton & Hove Albion can improve on their 15th-place finish last EPL season.
Mat Ryan is confident Brighton & Hove Albion can improve on their 15th-place finish last EPL season.

With speculation over his immediate future at Brighton & Hove Albion at an end, Mat Ryan is eager to see what the Premier League club can achieve this season.

The Seagulls kick off their 2020-21 season at home against big-spending Chelsea on Tuesday (5.15am AEST).

Ryan will retain his No.1 jersey despite suggestions last week tthat Brighton were chasing Arsenal's Emiliano Martinez as competition for the Socceroos' goalkeeper.

Argentine Martinez, however, is reportedly on the verge of completing a move from the Gunners to Aston Villa, ensuring Ryan will play on at Brighton for a fourth Premier League campaign.

After a transitional season under new coach Graham Potter ended in a 15th-place finish and Brighton's highest top-flight points haul since 1981-82, Ryan says moving from relegation-scrappers to loftier ambitions is achievable this season.

"When I look at the teams that finished in and around those places I don't see them being a whole lot better than we were last season," he told England's i newspaper.

"We want to attain more points this season and everything that comes with that.

"That's definitely the goal this year and we're looking to build on all the aspects from last year that we created and that foundation we created under the new manager.

"I can't wait for this one to get under way and see what progress we can make."

With international teammate Aaron Mooy having left Brighton for China earlier this month, Ryan is now the sole Australian plying his trade in England's top flight.

While the 28-year-old Ryan is yet to commence the new league campaign, several of his Socceroos teammates were in action across Europe over the weekend.

Winger Martin Boyle scored one goal and set up another in Hibernian's 3-0 Scottish Premiership win over St Mirren on Sunday, while midfielder James Jeggo enjoyed a 3-1 win on debut for Greek Super League outfit Aris Thessaloniki.

Lawrence Thomas kept a clean sheet in SonderjyskE's 2-0 win over Awer Mabil's Midtylland in Denmark, while Milos Degenek in Serbia and Massimo Luongo in the English Championship also tasted victory over the weekend.

Australian Associated Press