In July 2012 Tottenham Hotspur decided to give a young goalkeeper the chance to impress on a trial spell at the club.
Australian Mat Ryan was just 20-years-old at the time and was contracted to Central Coast Mariners in the Australian A-League.
Considered the natural successor to Mark Schwarzer in the Socceroo goalmouth he was given the chance to impress Spurs coaching staff during a week with the club.
“Excited? I sure am. It's the chance of a lifetime. It is something I've been dreaming of since I was a kid. To be invited to train with one of the biggest clubs in England is a huge honour and I can't wait to get over there.”
Ryan however obviously did not do enough to impress the staff in 2012 - and his stay was not extended.
He went on to be the breakout star of the A-League season in 2012-13 and have another Premier League trial at West Brom.
In January last year he almost signed for Rangers before ducking out of a move because of uncertainty over their league status.
So in May 2013 he made a move to Belgian Pro League football instead - signing for Club Brugge.
He has since gone on to become one of the star players in the Brugges side and the standout goalkeeper in the division - which has seen him offered a lucrative extension to his current deal with the club.
Those negotiations have now come to an impasse - as Ryan considers his future with the club.
He has told Belgian media this week:
“This club has been great for me and I am loving my time here but I have ambitions and I don’t want to be here for ever...I’d love the chance to play in England, Spain, Italy or Germany, though the Premier League would be my first choice. It’s the most watched and followed league in the world and growing up it was the place I’ve always dreamed about playing. If I got the opportunity it would be very hard to turn it down.”
So could Tottenham make a move for a much more improved and mature Ryan in the summer?
Brad Friedel is getting no younger and a back-up keeper to Hugo Lloris for the future has to be something Tim Sherwood and co are considering.
Ryan looks the part, speaks the language and seems keen on a move - never mind the fact he is likely to be available at a reasonable price.
Check him out in action, and let us know what you think…
image: © doggiesrule04