Australia’s latest footballing hero, Andrew Redmayne, has revealed just how top secret Graham Arnold’s Hail Mary plan for a penalty shootout was.
The 33-year-old, who was substituted on in the final minute of extra time as a spot kick specialist, said that pretty nobody apart from himself, Arnold, and goalkeeping coach John Crawley knew about the gambit.
That includes captain and starting goalkeeper, Mat Ryan.
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“Maty didn’t know, I don’t think,” Redmayne told reporters afterwards.
“He said ‘all the best mate, this is your time’ … He was nothing but supportive, he’s an absolute legend.”
Redmayne said that it was Crawley who toyed with the idea – previously implemented to great success by Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup – in May.
“The idea [of coming on] was floated at least a month ago, I daresay – John Crawley kind of threw out the theory behind it and he said ‘get ready for that’ … it was always in the back of my head for the UAE game and for this game,” he said.
“I don’t think any of the players knew about it.”
That included captain and No.1 Ryan – who despite being taken by surprise, took it all in his stride.
“I could probably go into this for hours, I reckon, but the goalkeeping union within this group, Vuka, Maty, JC and myself, we’ve been through a hell of a lot the last few years,” Redmayne said.
The moment will no doubt stand the test of time in the pantheon of Australian football highlights – but aside from the result, the way that both men handled the situation was top notch.
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Redmayne has been nothing but humble, while you couldn’t ask for a better leader than Ryan.
“Maty was full of support coming off, and just before the penalties as well he was pumping me up, getting me ready and asking if there was anything I needed,” Redmayne said.
“I’m under no illusion about where I stand in the team and where I stand in football in Australia, but I’m just glad I was able to play a small role tonight.
“Maty has played the bulk of the games throughout this three-year qualifying campaign and he’s been phenomenal.”
Redmayne has been typically humble in the aftermath of the game – but regardless of the fact that he only played a couple of minutes, in this his third game for the Socceroos, they were decisive.
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His name will be up in lights alongside the likes of John Aloisi, Mark Schwarzer and Tim Cahill, forever.
“They’re all iconic memories in the sporting history of Australia, and to play just a small role in that going forward is monumental,” Redmayne said.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have Tim Cahill in the last couple of weeks, and he spoke to the young boys, spoke to the cohort, and everyone speaks of moments in time, and big instances, key moments in careers and in life in general.”
For Ryan, Redmayne and the rest of the Socceroos – they now have the chance to keep driving their own legacies, with the tournament proper starting in just over five months.
“You’ve got to make your own history, and Timmy’s been big on driving that home the last couple of weeks; stepping up in the moment, and like I said, I only played a tiny part – I don’t think I’m in any way a hero or anything,” Redmayne said.
“The boys put in a hell of a shift to run out 120 minutes against a really good opposition, and they really limited their chances to barely none, really.
“My contribution tonight is miniscule compared to what the boys went through.”
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