Olyroo Profile: The mentality shift helping Maynard-Brewer fulfil his potential

Olympic-bound Ashley Maynard-Brewer says he's grown to realise mistakes are simply part of football - and it's helped foster a positive mentality in his play to develop his confidence as a rising Australian goalkeeping talent. 

Maynard-Brewer was named in Graham Arnold's 22-player squad ramping up preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Men's Football Tournament.

The 22-year-old custodian left Perth, Australia for English club Charlton Athletic as a teenager, spending the past seven years honing his craft abroad.

As kick-off against Argentina on July 22 draws closer for the Olyroos, read more about Maynard-Brewer's journey from teenage prospect to Olympian as socceroos.com.au provides you with a chance to get to know every member of Graham Arnold's squad that little bit better. 

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Olyroo Profile: Ashley Maynard-Brewer

Age: 22
Position: Goalkeeper
Club: Charlton Athletic
Previous clubs: Chelmsford City, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Dulwich Hamlet and Dover Athletic
Grassroots club: ECU Joondalup
International experience: Australia U-23

Did you know? Maynard-Brewer is the latest player to have risen through the ranks at Perth-based NPL club ECU Joondalup to put his name into contention for an eventual Socceroos cap.

Chris Herd, Shane Lowry, Josh Risdon, Brandon O'Neill, Adam Taggart, Rhys Williams and Ryan Williams all played at ECU Joondalup before going on to feature for the Socceroos in their professional careers.

READ: Metcalfe's top form fuelled by Olympic medal-winning dreams

Overseas move helps teenager thrive

Maynard-Brewer departed the supporting setup of hometown club ECU Joondalup for a chance at making it in the UK on a two-year scholarship deal with Charlton Athletic in 2015.

He's been there ever since, embarking on a handful of loan spells along the way. But Maynard-Brewer was met with challenges in the early days of his move to the London club, with isolation from friends and family and a pattern of negative in-game thinking providing the emerging gloveman a series of tests he eventually overcame.

"(I) went from the western suburbs in Floreat, Perth to Bexleyheath in South-East London," he said.

"It was tough to get used to, but I think it was good in a way that I was away from friends and family and I could just focus on football, which was really tough but it created a perfect environment for me to progress.

"Luckily I had relatives living in St Albans which is just outside North London, which gave me a place to go on the weekend and still be around family.

"The first few years, especially when I was 15, 16 when I first moved over to Charlton in the UK, I had a very negative approach to when I was playing.

"Whenever I went out (to play) I was just trying to get by and not make a mistake, not make a fool of myself, I guess.

"I think as I got older I realised mistakes are part of the game, but you’ve got to focus on every situation itself.

"Just go out and try and do the right things, not try and avoid making mistakes because mistakes are always going to happen."

Graham Arnold joins Sunrise following Olyroos squad announcement

Memories of Marbella spurring Maynard-Brewer forward

Australia's recent run of friendlies in Marbella, Spain offered Maynard-Brewer the chance to remember what it felt like to represent the country on the international stage.

The three friendly games served as an opportunity for Arnold as well, to assess Olympic hopefuls based largely overseas such as Maynard-Brewer. The Charlton 'keeper says he was eager to impress Arnold in the weeks before the Olympic squad was selected in his two starts for the Green and Gold in Marbella.

"It was my first camp in quite a while so I was eager to make an impression," he said.

"It was two weeks, we had three games so lots of training opportunities and games, so it was perfect. 

It’s representing the place where you grew up, the friends and family you’re missing back home.

Just from the friendlies back in Spain I played, you can just tell it’s something completely different to represent your club team, it means so much more.

"If I get the opportunity to do that here, I’ll be very proud, buzzing. 

"Being a part of an Olympic setup is something in itself, but you don’t want to get drawn into that.

"You want to focus on todays training, and just making sure you’re prepared and putting yourself in the best position to be ready for those games if you’re selected."

 An Olympic dream realised 

Maynard-Brewer had the feeling an Olympic call-up was on the cards on the first day of Charlton pre-season, upon checking his phone to find he had a missed call from an Australian number.

He sat down to call the number back, and heard Graham Arnold's voice on the line. His memory of the following conversation goes barely beyond the first sentence uttered to him by the Olyroos boss.

"The moment I found out was the first day of pre-season on last Thursday," he said.

"I was doing pre-season testing, came into the change room, looked at my phone and I had a missed call from a +61 number.

"Obviously knowing that the squad had been announced, so I rang it straight back. A few beeps, (and) it was Graham Arnold, the first team coach.

"He’s gone ‘congratulations, you’re an Olympian!’ I thought bloody hell, wow. 

"Next few minutes I didn’t even realise what he said to be honest, I was buzzing."

After getting off the phone to Arnold Maynard-Brewer collected his thoughts, before getting in contact with family and friends. 

"I think they were more excited than I was," he said. "I think as well because I’d been away from home for quite a long time, it was a really nice feeling I guess having achieved something in a way, being selected for the Olympics.

"It was nice for my parents and friends knowing that I’m away doing something and doing well, which was a really nice feeling."

READ MORE: Ambitious Arzani hoping to inject X-Factor in Tokyo

Stay tuned to socceroos.com.au and the Socceroos' social pages for more in-depth profiles of Australia's Men's Football Team at Tokyo 2020. You can check out all of our exclusive pre-Olympic content here.