Albion No.1 Mathew Ryan has revealed the key role played by Graham Arnold in his breakthrough in Europe.

The Australia boss steered Ryan's career path at Central Coast Mariners after he had trials with Albion's FA Cup fourth round opponents West Brom and Spurs.

Ryan, speaking to, said: "Over the years he became a true mentor and someone I often turned to for advice.

"In my first season with the Mariners he told me 'You should aspire to play overseas but you're not ready yet.’ "After my second season, I went on a trial to Tottenham and West Brom. He advised me to play one more year in Australia then look at a league like Belgium or Holland where they were more likely to play a keeper with my resume.

"'There will always be a contract here on the table for you if nothing comes up,' he told me. He called his contacts in Europe to help me out. Eventually, Club Brugge came in with an offer.

"He could've been selfish and tried to keep me at the Mariners for another season but instead he said, 'Get it done. It's a great opportunity. Go, go, go.'"

Ryan and Arnold have been reunited in the coach's second spell in charge of the Socceroos.

The holders got back on track in the Asian Cup this morning with a 3-0 win against Palestine in their second group game in Dubai.

It made amends for their shock 1-0 defeat by Jordan in their opening fixture.