By Paul Gilmour
Last Updated: 10/04/20 9:10pm
Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan says he is trying to stay “productive and positive” as he spends two weeks self-isolating in a Sydney hotel room.
The Australian decided to return to his family amid the coronavirus pandemic but, under strict government regulations, has been forced into quarantine before he can see them.
He is not allowed outside and can only open the door to collect food, but the international has quickly settled into a routine, is improvising with his suitcases to keep fit, and says the Brighton WhatsApp group is still keeping him entertained.
“I get up in the morning, have breakfast, do a workout,” he said. “After that it’s a chat to friends, lunch, chill in the afternoon with a TV series before another workout, dinner and filling the gaps (by) speaking to friends and family.
“There’s not too much space. Improvisation and creativity can be a skill. Some national-team friends picked up training gear for me. I’ve got an exercise ball and some bands. I’ve been improvising with some suitcases as weights!
“With football being off it was a no brainier to come back home and be close to my family. I live alone in England so would have been sitting around wondering what was going to happen.
“I’d have to get government permission to leave once the time is right to return to the UK. I’ve been told I’ll be able to get on a plane if needs be.
“It depends if airlines are flying but I don’t think it’ll be an issue. Airlines coming back would likely coincide with football coming back. We’ll get a few weeks’ notice for when the season gets back up and running, if it does.
“We have a WhatsApp group (for the Brighton players) and sometimes when I’ve woken up there have been 100 plus messages. Catching up with those kills a bit more time!”
This week Premier League players launched a fund for NHS charities called #PlayersTogether, which will generate and distribute funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most.
And his club have also been active in supporting charities and the vulnerable, especially in the local community.
“We obviously want to help like everyone else in the world,” he said. “We’ve taken steps to create this (#PlayersTogether) fund and it provides support to those affected. They’re working tirelessly and they need all the help they can get.
“Brighton have always shown empathy and support to the public. Even with myself and the bush fires (in Australia), our chairman Tony Bloom matched the donation that Aaron (Mooy) and I made.
“Those acts of solidarity are what gives Brighton, the directors and club itself the reputation of being an outstanding Premier League club. The community gets behind us and I think everyone sees it as a no brainier to help them. We’re all one down here and look after one another.”