Sky Blues goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne admits he will “shed a tear” if, as expected, he is selected for FIFA World Cup duty before shelving his emotion to focus on Saturday night’s Sydney derby.
Set to be one of three glovemen in the Socceroos’ 26-man World Cup squad being announced on Tuesday, “grey Wiggle” Redmayne has become part of Australian sporting folklore following his penalty-shootout heroics for the national team in June.
Replacing first-choice keeper and captain Mat Ryan – specifically for the looming shootout –in the dying stages of Australia’s do-or-die playoff against Peru, Redmayne’s unorthodox goal-line methods paid off as he saved a spot kick from Alex Valera to seal the Socceroos’ spot at Qatar 2022.
“I was fully focused on executing a role if I was called on,” Redmayne said.
“Everyone in that squad played their role in that camp, and I fully believe that was the best camp I’ve been involved in.
“It stepped up to another level. Everybody was so in tune and switched on. There was a real togetherness that was really quite special and everyone in the squad knew that we were going to be successful in our endeavour to qualify for the World Cup, and it all came to fruition in that Peru game.
“Fingers crossed I’m selected (for the World Cup). I’d be over the moon if I went, and I’m sure there’ll be a tear shed either way … but there’s a job to do in between.”
That “job” is to return Sydney FC to its winning ways by defeating the Western Sydney Wanderers in Saturday night’s derby at Allianz Stadium.
Both teams take losing form into the match. The Sky Blues were beaten 3-1 by Brisbane on Sunday at Moreton Daily Stadium, while the Wanderers lost 3-0 at home to the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.
With the A-League going into recess for the World Cup after this weekend, neither side will want to dwell on back-to-back losses during the break.
“There are always things to play for in a derby. You’re doing it for the fans, you’re doing it for the club, there’ll be a sellout type of atmosphere … it’s these big games that you want to play in as a footballer,” Redmayne said.
Having also experienced a Melbourne derby during his stint with Melbourne City, Redmayne described its Sydney equivalent as “more intense”.
“Both us and the Wanderers have a strong supporter base, which really adds to the occasion,” he said.
”There’s an equality of fan numbers for the Sydney derby.”