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Central Coast star Ryan pinching himself after Tottenham, West Brom trials

Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan has returned to Australia following training sessions with Premier League clubs Tottenham and West Bromwich Albion.

The 20-year old reigning A-League Goalkeeper of the Year spent time in London and the West Midlands to take in the experiences of English top flight football and admits it was a fantastic learning curve for his fledgling career.

"I'm pinching myself here," Ryan said. "Two years ago I was playing at Blacktown City before I got my chance here [at the Mariners].

"If you'd have told me two years ago that I'd be going over to Tottenham and West Brom to experience those clubs, I don't think I'd have believed you."

Ryan said it was a brilliant feeling to be out on the same pitch with the likes of Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart and admits that the experience is something he will remember for a long time.

"I trained with the whole first team," he said. "Players like Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart were definitely two players that I loved sitting behind when they were on my team. I enjoyed just watching them do what they do," he added.

"The attributes that they have are just freakish. The calmness van der Vaart has on the ball, you've got to see it to believe it.

"You notice the professionalism of everything there. It was good to experience."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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