Maty Ryan has secured a move to Dutch club AZ Alkmaar as he looks for first-team minutes ahead of Australia’s 2023 Asian Cup campaign.
The Socceroos goalkeeper has signed a one-and-a-half-year deal, keeping him with the Eredivisie side until the end of the 2023/24 season.
His move follows a six-month spell at FC København, where he had a tense relationship with fellow shot-stopper Kamil Grabara.
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AZ most recently won the Netherlands’ top division in 2009, previously lifting the trophy in 1981.
Nicknamed the Cheeseheads, the club has also picked up four KNVB Cups, the most recent of those coming in 2013.
His new team currently sits fifth on the Eredivisie table, four points off league-leaders Feyenoord.
“You only have to look at the club and its history once to see that it is a good and ambitious club,” Ryan said in a statement.
“There is a lot to play for and I dream of achieving the highest of the highest together with the team.”
✍️ excited for this next chapter. https://t.co/O2eBdXtZZR
— Maty Ryan (@MatyRyan) January 9, 2023
It is unclear whether Ryan will immediately assume the starting goalkeeper position at his new club, but the 30-year-old is set to be challenged by current No. 1 Hobie Verhulst.
AZ director of football Max Huiberts revealed that the club has been on the lookout for a goalkeeper and that Ryan met their criteria.
“He has shown at various levels that he is good and was our top candidate from the start,” Huiberts said.
“We were looking for someone who is there immediately when he is fit. That’s him. Everything fits into the picture in that regard.”
— AZ (@AZAlkmaar) January 9, 2023
Whilst securing a starting spot will be a priority for Ryan, his move to the Netherlands simultaneously removes him from a frosty relationship with his goalkeeping rival in Copenhagen.
Initially handed the starting position, his teammate and fellow shot-stopper Kamil Grabara took over the No. 1 role after returning from injury.
Ryan told the media in October that his demotion was a consequence of club politics before Grabara stated that he and the Australian are “not friends”.
Their strained relationship was later clear to see at the World Cup when Grabara had a dig at Ryan on Twitter after the Socceroos goalkeeper made a blunder against Argentina.
“Must have been politics, for sure”, he wrote, followed by a smirking emoji.
Ryan has made 79 appearances for the Socceroos, most recently helping his national team secure two clean sheets in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
His move to AZ follows spells in Europe with Club Brugge, Valencia, Genk, Brighton, Arsenal and Real Sociedad.