The talented goalkeeper seems to be destined for a move abroad, but also wants to help the table-topping Mariners to honours this campaign
|By JOHN GRECO
Central Coast goalkeeper Mat Ryan says the potential to be part of the first Mariners team to win an A-League grand final will weigh heavily on his mind when deciding his future in January.
Ryan, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is on the radar of a couple of European clubs who may look to snap-up the 20-year-old when the transfer window opens next month.
English Championship club Hull City have already made an offer for the in-form shot-stopper, who also impressed when trialling at EPL clubs Tottenham and West Brom in August.
Ryan said it would be a dream come true to secure a deal abroad but admitted the club's push for multiple honours will make it hard to leave mid-season.
"I've always had the view of fulfilling my contract," Ryan told Sportal.
"No one wants to leave half-way through a season.
"It's a hard one because I'm trying to look after my future. If there was an opportunity that looked good on the horizon in January I would be looking at it very hard.
"But it would be very difficult to leave the Mariners in the middle of the year.
"We've really set a goal this year of winning the [A-League] grand final and doing the double and also having a great [Asian Champions League[ campaign."
Mariners coach Graham Arnold was highly critical of Football Federation Australia for leaking the story of Hull City's interest in Ryan in November, with a fear it could disrupt team harmony and affect his goalkeeper's focus.
But Ryan insisted it was never an issue and said the support of his team-mates helped him deal with the added scrutiny.
"You've just got to expect that type of stuff in this type of environment we're in," the Australia international said.
"I've been told by the likes of Mile Sterjovski and the senior guys to enjoy this period. It's the first time I'm off contract so just embrace it.
"But at same time that's why I have an agent to look after those types of things.
"If I'm doing my job on pitch, he'll do his off the pitch and we'll come to a conclusion that best suits me."Ryan, who won his first two caps for the Socceroos at the East Asian Cup qualifiers earlier in December, said the pain of getting so close to a grand final triumph in the last two seasons had been a big motivator for the club so far this term.