Greatest Glovemen of the A-League Part IV

It's a case of youth over experience as we hit the pointy end of the countdown.

With time ticking away between seasons seven and eight of the Hyundai A-League, we here at thought we would go retro and take a look back at some of the best the league has had to offer over the years.

Recently Phoenix fans have bemoaned Mark Paston being down the list and our selection of Clint Bolton at number five left many thinking he should be higher, today we continue and it-s a case of talent over experience.

4. Mat Ryan

“There-s only one Matty Ryan.” Now we have the ode to the Mariners- marvellous young keeper out of the way, let-s get to what makes him special.

Well for starters he-s not just your average goalkeeper, in fact at just 20 years of age he is anything but, already claiming a Joe Marston Medal, two NAB Young Player of the Year awards and the Goalkeeper of the Year award in what was a spectacular 2011/12 season.

And oh yeah, the Joe Marston Medal came in a losing Grand Final in a debut season where he kept 12 clean sheets, although on the back of Jacob Burns-s Marston Medal win in the latest decider, that appears to be a growing trend.

He-s also shorter than your average number one, coming in at just six feet tall (1.83m) but he commands the penalty area with a maturity that belies his young age, often making well-considered decisions when confronted with making the tough call.

Ryan is not only strong in the air and when it comes to commanding his defenders, but he is also unbelievably good in one-on-one situations, making his body appear bigger than it actually is and spreading himself well.

If you need further proof of just how good Ryan is then ask and player from Melbourne Heart who took part in their Week 15 loss at AAMI Park.

At 20 he is only going to get better and in ten or even five years time he could be at the very top of this list.

3. Mitch Langerak

It didn-t take long for Mitch Langerak to make a lasting impression on both the Hyundai A-League and the rest of world football.

Coming into the 2008/09 season of the A-League Langerak was sitting on the bench at Melbourne Victory and with Glen Moss signed on the back of a superb season for Wellington Phoenix, the All White was expected to dominate in goal, but after a couple of losses his form stumbled to a career low.

Enter Langerak - the then 21-year-old keeper came into the side for Moss and made the number one shirt his, recording six clean sheets in his 14 starting appearances for the season and taking the Victory all the way to the Grand Final, where they lost on penalties.

Langerak though played his role well, denying Shannon Cole when he took Sydney FC-s second penalty, only poor finishing from Kevin Muscat and Marvin Angulo hurting the Victory and helping Sydney to glory.

The one near-full season would be Langerak-s only in the A-league, with German giants Borussia Dortmund kicking the door at AAMI Park in, as they made offer upon offer for his services and with good performances whenever he has started or come on off the bench for the German giants it looks like it was money well spent.

Like Ryan he has a huge future, but Langerak is already a feature in the current Qantas Socceroos squad.

The views in this article are those of the author and not Football Federation Australia