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How Socceroos ‘keeper Andrew Redmayne went from fighting for place in the A-League to World Cup hero

How CLUTCH Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew ‘the grey Wiggle’ Redmayne went from fighting for his place in the A-League to unlikely World Cup qualification hero

Socceroos reserve goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne is the toast of Australia after sealing Australia’s passage into the FIFA World Cup.

But the goalkeeper was fighting for his spot in Australia’s domestic A-League competition as little as four months ago.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold pulled a stunning selection shock at the end of double-overtime in the Socceroos do-or-die qualification clash against Peru in Doha by hooking regular goalkeeper and captain Mat Ryan.

Instead, he injected Redmayne into the fray as a penalty shootout specialist.

Redmayne has earned the nickname ‘The Grey Wiggle’ for his dance routine in the net to put opposition players off their game during penalty strokes.

Whether it was the routine, astute judgement or blind luck, Redmayne got the job done as Australia won the penalty shootout 4-3 after trailing 1-0.

‘I am no hero,’ a humble Redmayne said afterwards.

‘I just played my role like everyone else did tonight.

‘I can’t thank the team enough, the staff enough.

‘I am not going to take credit for this because the boys ran out 120 minutes.

‘It takes those on the field, the boys on the bench, those in the stand, those that missed out on the squad as well.

‘It is a team game, a team effort and I can’t earn any more credit than the other 27 [squad members] are here.’

Redmayne (L) celebrates with Australia’s defender Aziz Behich after winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 inter-confederation play-offs match between Australia and Peru

It was only months ago that Redmayne was fighting just to take his place in the net for Sydney FC.    

In February this year, Redmayne was no sure thing to even be starting ‘keeper for Sydney FC after injury and the scintillating form of understudy Thomas Heward-Belle.

Redmayne returned from Socceroos duty but was controversially overlooked by Sydney FC coach Steve Corica for their clash against Adelaide United. Corica’s headache got worse when Heward-Belle saved a penalty as Sydney FC held on for a 2-1 win.

‘It’s a tough one,’ Corica said at the time.

The Australian players celebrate like it is 2005, the last time the Socceroos had to qualify for the FIFA World Cup on penalty goals

The Australian players celebrate like it is 2005, the last time the Socceroos had to qualify for the FIFA World Cup on penalty goals

‘Redders obviously went away with the national team and he got back the day before in Adelaide.

‘It’s something I need to make a decision on but obviously it’s good competition for Redders as well because Tommy has stepped it up.

‘He’s doing a great job and that can only create good competition for places which is what we want.’ 

An effusive Redmayne refused to take credit for the victory and heaped praised on every player that had a role in the qualification process that saw the Socceroos forced to play 16 out of 20 matches away from home.

The decisive save from Ryan that sent Australia into its fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup

The decisive save from Ryan that sent Australia into its fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup

Socceroos teammate Mitchell Duke was ready to fill Redmayne’s boots with praise, though.

‘He was completely clutch,’ he said.

‘[Coach Graham Arnold] gave him that belief.

‘I know Matty will be disappointed, but everyone played their part.

‘I can’t explain this feeling. It is complete ecstacy.’

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