When Andrew Redmayne was still trying to establish himself as a Hyundai A-League regular, he was already getting plans in place for life after football.
While he’s enjoying a golden period in his career on the pitch, Redmayne is also studying to become a primary school teacher at the same time as playing for Sydney FC.
It’s a combination that is certainly working for the 31-year-old, who has won two Championships, two Premierships and an FFA Cup during his time with the Sky Blues, while also becoming a Socceroo last year.
And he has no doubt it’s having that focus away from football has helped him achieve what he has on the pitch in recent years.
“I feel like having study and an option to pursue other avenues has allowed me to go even harder at football,” said Redmayne on the PFA’s Footballer’s Voice podcast.
“While I’m at football I give it 110% and I know if anything was to happen, I do have something to fall back on and I do have another avenue to pursue.
“Whereas if I didn’t have that then I might be worried about a knock or a niggle but now I know that I do have something to fall back on I am able to unleash a bit more on football and really give it everything I’ve got.”
Redmayne understood from early on in his career he needed to have a ‘Plan B’.
Spending almost three straight seasons as a no.2 keeper at Brisbane Roar and then Melbourne Heart, the shot-stopper was having doubts if he would cut it as a professional footballer.
He was close to quitting the sport altogether and going in a completely different direction.
“I was at a bit of a crossroads in my career and I wasn’t sure if that was the avenue that would provide food on the table and a roof over my head,” he explained.
“Having something like university for myself is such an anchoring point and it’s very humbling to know I do have something to fall back on if the bubble was to burst.
“I think studying has been a weight off my shoulders,” he added.
“As a young player you put all your eggs in one basket, ‘if I don’t make it as a footballer, then I’ve got nothing’.
“I’ve found if I give university a good crack, when I get home from training I put all my focus into that as opposed to constantly thinking about football.
“That other avenue is a positive on football, it takes my head off the game and that little freshen up really provides me with a good platform to be able to launch into the next day’s training and go into that day fresh.”
It’s perhaps no surprise Redmayne has gone down the teaching path, describing it as a “family business”.
Both of his parents are teachers, as well as some uncles, aunties, cousins and his brother-in-law.
For Redmayne, making the transition from professional sports star to the classroom is something he’s excited about, rather than being scared by it.
“I’ve always admired and I’ve always looked up to teachers as role models when I was going through school,” he said.
“I’d like to give back post football and help develop children not only in a footballing aspect but also a school aspect. It’s great to be considered a role model when you do step into a classroom.
“I think there is similarities between teaching and goalkeeping. You have to communicate a lot from the back and oversee everything and I’m sure the things I’ve learnt in my professional career now will carry over when I do retire and move into the classroom.”