The Caltex Socceroos will take their first step on the road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ next month, and there will be three Hyundai A-League players involved in the opening qualifier against Kuwait.
Sydney FC Championship-winning duo Rhyan Grant and Andrew Redmayne, along with Melbourne City striker Jamie Maclaren are the Hyundai A-League-based trio in Graham Arnold’s 23-man squad for the clash in the early hours of Wednesday, September 11 (AEST).
Both Grant and Redmayne are back in the squad after featuring in the last match against Korea Republic in June, while Maclaren has earned his first call-up since playing at January’s AFC Asian Cup in the UAE.
SQUAD: Squad for first FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifier
ULTIMATE GUIDE: Road to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Rhyan Grant - Sydney FC
It’s hard to believe Grant only made his Caltex Socceroos debut last November considering how comfortable he’s looked in the green and gold.
The man with the Hyundai A-League’s best mullet has been an ever-reliable presence at the Sky Blues for the best part of a decade.
Now 28, Grant has matured into one of the most consistent right-back’s in the country, terrorising defences with his ability to make driving runs forward.
He’s been a big reason why Sydney FC have won two premierships, two championships and an FFA Cup title over the last three seasons.
After making his debut in the 3-0 win over Lebanon at ANZ Stadium in November, Grant has become an ever-present for Arnold since January’s AFC Asian Cup and is a strong chance to be the starting right-back in Kuwait.
Jamie Maclaren – Melbourne City FC
He might only be two competitive games into the new season with City, but Maclaren is already back to doing what he does best – score goals.
The 26-year-old has netted three times in City’s wins over Campbelltown City and Marconi that has Erick Mombaerts’ side through to the last eight.
It’s those predatory instincts that have earned Maclaren a spot back in Arnold’s squad after last featuring in January’s AFC Asian Cup.
The Melbourne-born attacker scored his maiden international goal at that tournament – in the 3-0 win over Palestine – and will head to Kuwait oozing confidence.
Deadly in the box, blessed with blinding speed and excellent playing off the shoulder of his defender, Maclaren has the attributes Arnold likes and the arsenal to be an important goal-getter for Australia.
HOW TO WATCH: Kuwait v Caltex Socceroos
Andrew Redmayne – Sydney FC
Redmayne has enjoyed something of a career renaissance over the last couple of years, producing some exceptional performances for the Sky Blues.
It was Graham Arnold who poached the gloveman from Sydney FC’s crosstown rivals the Wanderers in January 2017, first as un understudy to Danny Vukovic. But after ‘Vuka’ moved the Belgium club Genk, Redmayne has become Sydney’s no.1 and developed into one of Australia’s best shot-stoppers.
The 30-year-old benefitted from the tutelage of now-Caltex Socceroos keeper coach John Crawley.
The Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season was easily his most consistent, keeping nine cleansheets and saving three penalties during the regular season.
Redmayne then wrote himself into Sky Blues folklore, saving two penalties against Perth Glory in the 2019 Grand Final to help Sydney FC win their fourth Hyundai A-League Championship.
He was then rewarded with his first Caltex Socceroos cap in June’s friendly against Korea Republic in Busan.
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