Socceroos shy on goalkeeping tactics for the Cup
Goalkeeper hero Andrew Redmayne says the Socceroos are “miles away” from considering whether they will use their goalkeeper swap tactic at the FIFA World Cup later this year.
Bearded and beaming, Redmayne was among the Socceroos players warmly welcomed by fans and family at Sydney Airport on Wednesday night following the stunning World Cup qualifier triumph over Peru in Qatar.
Coach Graham Arnold made the brave move to sub-captain Mathew Ryan for Redmayne before the game turned into a penalty shootout.
Watch the latest sport on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>
The gamble largely paid off; the injection of the boisterous Redmayne seemed to shake Peru’s confidence.
By saving the Peruvians’ sixth penalty attempt, Redmayne catapulted the Socceroos to a fifth successive World Cup and himself into the history books.
But Redmayne said he was unsure whether he would have the chance to reprise his role as the Socceroos’ 11th-hour hero at the World Cup in November.
“We are miles away from talking about it,” he told reporters at Sydney Airport, after an emotional reunion with his wife Cailin and young daughter Poppy.
“We’re still savoring victory. It’s been a long and arduous campaign and we’re just happy to see it come to a successful end.”
While Ryan said Arnold had previously discussed the possibility of changing goalkeepers if a qualifier went on penalties, the skipper admitted he was surprised when the plan was implemented.
“I had no idea,” Ryan said, “I was preparing like I was going to go in for the penalty shootout.
“All credit goes to ‘Redders’, he went there and he produced when we needed him.
“A lot of people probably wrote us off and didn’t give us the chance to go through, but hopefully (the win) can inspire the younger generation to chase their dreams.”
Now that he’s back home, Redmayne said he’s focused less on basking in newfound celebrity status and more on spending time with his young family.
“It’s really good (to be back with the family),” he said.
“I’ve spent some time on the road this year, with the Champions League (AFC) and (World Cup) qualifiers and the A-League.
“So it’s really nice to know that it’s done and dusted off for a few weeks and we can pull ourselves together.”
His teammates who play club football in the northern hemisphere, including Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine and Bailey Wright, won’t have as much of a break before joining their squads for pre-season.
Once qualifying is complete, the Socceroos will soon turn their sights to the World Cup itself, where they are drawn into the same group as Tunisia, Denmark and defending champions France.
The Football Federation of Australia have already confirmed that Australia will face New Zealand for two friendlies in September which will serve as preparation for the World Cup.
FFA CEO James Johnson said the victory over Peru proved once and for all that Australia belonged on the world stage.
“Five consecutive World Cup qualifiers, the Women’s World Cup is right around the corner…I think we can say with a high degree of confidence that this is a footballing nation,” he said. .