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Football is always something I’ve been very passionate about. You have to be to get to this level. Even more so being an Australian, I think. As a footballer who wants to get to the pinnacle of the game you start behind the eight-ball a bit, being an Australian. Being from a country that’s so far away from the power of the game in Europe.


I’m always learning. Learning from professional players, past teammates. I’ve seen the level of dedication they’ve had in order to have the careers they’ve had. It’s no surprise that the ones who go to extra lengths to be professional, and make sure that every fine detail of their lives is focused on their performance on the pitch, end up being the most successful.


I learned through how they conduct themselves on and off the field. I’ve tried to adopt those practices into my life. Good diet, adequate sleep, the limiting of alcohol and bad food, the analysis of my football, being my own harshest critic, making sure I’m doing extra training in the gym.


The day I hang up my gloves and boots, the day I’m no longer physically or mentally able to play the game, I want to have no regrets that I could have done something better or different that could have enhanced the career I had. I leave no stone unturned. I very much live and breathe the game.


When I watch on TV, I look at what other goalkeepers are doing. See what’s working for them. I’ll watch players from other teams and look for little traits they might have that could maybe help me in situations that arise when I face them in the future. The beauty of life, and football, is there are always things to learn. You never stop. The game is always evolving – getting better, getting sharper, getting quicker, new players are coming in with qualities that are raw and have never been seen before. I’m always trying to be a student of the game and learn anything that can benefit me and help me have the best career I can have.





As well as being a student, I’m also a hard marker of my own work. I think over my experiences, when I was younger or more naïve, I was less critical of myself than now. Sometimes something will happen in a game that I would have never seen as a mistake in the past, now I see it as a mistake or something I could have done better.


I’ve found that it’s important to continue to be realistic with my analysis. Make sure I’m not being over critical and nit-picking on certain things, as that can be detrimental and lead to added and unnecessary frustration and have a negative impact on performances and confidence. So I try to find the balance. Put things in perspective.


Sometimes I’m too harsh on myself. It might be a kick that lands two metres away from where I wanted it to go and they win the ball, and there’s five or six passes and a passage of play where they end up having a chance on goal. I think it may have gone to an extreme now where I’m getting a little too self-critical. I’m my own harshest critic and I set my standards that high. I believe if I can kick one perfect ball, why can’t I kick every ball perfectly? Common sense tells me perfection isn’t attainable but nothing stops me wanting to be the exception to the rule.


The pressure never really goes away, no matter what your place on the table. When I was playing at Club Brugge, we were always at the top of the table and the goal was to win trophies and be successful. That is still the goal to a certain extent. With Brighton, we made the semis of the FA Cup this year. The league is different because of the stature of team we are but I always believe anything is possible. You look at what Leicester achieved a couple of years ago in the Premier League and you think, why can’t we do it?

Every player in the league is human, and when we’re under pressure we all have struggles and we all have the ability to produce in big moments as well. I don’t see any reason why we can’t be a successful team. We obviously fall a little behind the others with the budget we have, and the other teams are bigger because of the players their money can buy. But we’re all human and I try to do the best I can, helping whoever I’m playing for be the best they can be, be it Brighton or the Socceroos.


Last year was my first experience being in a club that was fighting to stay up. Common sense would tell you everyone would much rather be in a battle for a trophy than a being in a battle at the bottom. I don’t know if the consequences are worse though. The consequences of not winning a title when you’re fighting all the way to the wire for it are devastating. I wouldn’t rate the pressure worse in a relegation battle. The pressure is always the same for me. Just it’s a bigger consequence if you fail as you’re relegated and no longer have a shot at the title the following year. 


I hate losing either way. I wouldn’t be happy with either.





Both Liverpool and City have changed up their goalkeepers recently and it’s been well documented the difference they’ve made and how they’ve fitted into the styles they’ve wanted to be playing. Last year, Liverpool’s Achilles heel a little bit was the form of their goalkeepers in important moments. The club thought it was an area to improve in and they moved to strengthen that, and I think the stats speak for themselves.


It’s a similar situation with City. The decision to bring in Ederson, I think, had more to do with the style Pep Guardiola had in mind, wanting someone who was very comfortable playing with the ball at his feet. He’s been a key figure for them in both the seasons he’s been there – an integral part of their success and just goes to show how important a goalkeeper can be to a team in terms of the build-up play. The most important part is the points they can help you pick up by making key saves at vital points in a game to help a team add to the points tally.


It’s hard to pick between their attacks – both clubs have so many options and weapons. Maybe other keepers think differently but I think the majority of them would love coming up against those attacks. I love the challenge. The bigger the challenge, the better the moment if you are triumphant.


It’s going down to the wire with three games to go, and if my tip is slightly off, and City don’t win it from here, Brighton might have something to do with it.


I’ve felt that in the past. We’ve beaten Man United now twice in the past two seasons, beat Arsenal last season and got a draw this year. When the challenge is difficult and you defy the odds and prove people wrong, shock a few people in terms of being successful against those teams, it makes the moment sweeter.


Even playing the smaller teams, it’s a constant challenge. I just love being in this environment where the margin for error is virtually non-existent. It’s where you discover the truth about yourself. It’s where you discover the type of footballer you are and the person you are. When you’re up against it, throwing yourself into the harshest of environments in order to test yourself and grow as a person and player as a result, helping you become the best footballer you can be… You’re aware that you’re creating memories that you’re going to cherish for the rest of your life.


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