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Apr 11, 2022   |  1:29PM AET

Passion the driving force for milestone man Reddy

Passion the driving force for milestone man Reddy

Passion.

It’s a word Liam Reddy comes back to on multiple occasions when discussing the prospect of hitting yet another milestone in his remarkable, 22-year professional career.

On Wednesday evening, subject to selection, the 40-year-old will become just the eighth player in history to reach 400 Australian national league appearances across the National Soccer League and A-League competitions.

Most of the other seven, including former Glory legend Damian Mori, are long-since retired, the exception being Reddy’s good friend, Andrew Durante who hung up his boots at the end of last season.

But while happy to discuss the past in terms of career highlights, the Sydney-born ‘keeper is just as keen to emphasise how driven he remains in the present.

“In terms of best memories, I can’t go past the Premiership here in Perth a couple of years ago,” he said.

“I just think the Newcastle game that we won 1-0 at home and sealed the league title, that was a great night and a culmination of a great season.

“To win at home and lift the trophy in front of the home fans was fantastic.

“The penalty shootout game against Adelaide was another [highlight] and probably one that Glory fans don’t want to hear about was the Wellington Phoenix penalty shootout against Perth; that was another memorable game.

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“But honestly, the highlight has been my longevity really and the fact that I’m still getting enjoyment out of going into training every day.

“My passion is still there and trying to help and teach the young players we have here is also rewarding.

“Hopefully that’ll be a highlight that I can sit back in five or six years’ time and say that I played a small part in some of these boys’ careers.”

In providing that example to the club’s youngsters, Reddy is passing on the kind of guidance he himself received when taking the first steps of his professional football journey at Glory’s old NSL rivals, Parramatta Power.

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“I remember when I first started, I had some really professional players around me, like Alex Tobin, Joe Vrkic, Milan Blagojevic, Jacob Burns and Mile Sterjovski,” he said.

“They were still quite young [Burns and Sterjovski], but I looked up to them and the way they conducted themselves and I was fortunate to be around them.”

Reddy is similarly grateful for both the support of his family (wife Christie and sons Marley, Hendrix and Ziggy) and the friends he has made during a career which has seen him turn out for more than half of the clubs currently competing in the A-League.

“I don’t think I’d have made 100 games without my wife Christie, to be honest,” he said.

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“She’s been very supportive from the beginning and she’s definitely a major reason why I’m still playing.

“As much as this milestone is about me, it’s also recognition of the sacrifices she’s had to make in terms of moving and setting up and meeting new people.

“It’s something that she can be just as proud of and it’s good that the kids can be a part of my career and see the highs and lows.

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“They’re a massive part of why I’m still playing and why I’ve come this far.

“In terms of friends, Matthew Langdon is one of my best mates.

“He didn’t make the crossover from NSL to A-League, but I played with him at Parramatta Power and Sydney United.

“Then with A-League players, it’s people like Jade North, Andrew Durante, Vince Lia, Andy Keogh, Joel Chianese, Scotty Jamieson… I could name a whole heap of them because I’ve played with everyone!

“I’ve made some great friends at all the clubs, like Craig Moore and Danny Tiatto, I still keep in touch with those guys.

“I feel it’s a good thing that I’ve played for seven A-League clubs because I’ve got to meet so many different people.

“But I’ve now made Perth my home and I love playing for this club.

“It’s my longest stint at a club and hopefully that will continue because I’ve made some great friends here on and off the field.”

Renowned for wearing his heart on his sleeve, voicing his opinions on the pitch and refusing to take a backward step, surely Reddy has acquired himself a nemesis or two over the years?

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“I’d say any striker really,” he said.

“I don’t think I’d call him a nemesis, but I always really enjoyed playing against Archie Thompson as he would bring the best out in me, [Besart] Berisha the same.

“Thomas Broich is another one, [Milos] Ninkovic another.

“You’ve got to be at your best against those quality players.

“Those guys were and are very good players and it’s always good to go up against them.”

The A-League simply would not be the same without Reddy making his presence felt on the field whether that be through his stunning saves or his willingness to engage in what politicians might describe as “a robust exchange of opinions” with opposition players and match officials.

After all, he’s been a fixture in the domestic game since making his debut for Parramatta Power against Gippsland Falcons (Eastern Pride) in the unassuming surroundings of Morwell’s Mobil Park back in March 2001.

And that passion of his still burns bright.

“I still feel young, I still have the passion to come into training every day and work hard and learn,” he said.

“Especially this year, I’ve been mentoring the younger group as well.
I’m still passionate about training and playing and that’s not going anywhere.

“I want to help get this club where it deserves to be; at the top.

“As soon as I lose that passion, that’s when I’ll step away, but at the moment, I still get that buzz and I feel like I’m 28 again.

“We’ll see how it goes, but my plan is to keep playing.”

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