Do you remember Brendan Renaud? Maybe by his nickname Rex?Β 

If you don't, it's hardly a surprise. In 2008, at 34-years-old, the former hardy NSL midfielder had all but retired. It's not that he was still playing at a high level, he just didn't think it was worth announcing his retirement. Who would care?Β 

As Aidan Ormond tells it, Renaud was making-ends-meet working for Sydney FC's community development team, spending his weekends at the barrell-end of Australian football, trying to spark some interest in a growing competition among the grassroots.Β 

The job had its perks. He'd been there in 2007 to see David Beckham's curling free kick in front of a packed house at ANZ Stadium. He also had a pretty good rapport with then-Sky Blues coach John Kosmina.

Kosmina was aware that Renaud was still working his socks off in the shadows to keep fit. So with the side nearing finals, and a highly technical midfield - including the likes of Juninho - needing a bit of grunt, Kossie knew the man he was after.

β€œMy playing career had finished! I hadn’t officially retired," Renaud toldΒ Β www.a-league.com.au.

"I suppose I never really thought of myself as big enough that anyone would care if I retired or not. But now, I was pretty much a footballer again.

β€œIn my wildest dreams, the most I thought I'dΒ be would be on the bench and supporting the team as a squad player.

β€œBut I told β€˜Kossie’, β€˜I’ll give you everything.'"

Flash forward and Renaud had earned a regular first-team place right up until the elimination final, which Sydney lost to Brisbane Roar. It was a phenomenal achievement for the 34-year-old, but his fairytale ending wasn't finished there.

Sydney had a post-season tournament arranged in Hawaii, against David Beckham's L.A Galaxy, Houston Dynamo and J-League side Gamba Osaka. Of course, Renaud was the first on the plane.

β€œI was so grateful to Kossie. If he hadn’t done this, we wouldn’t be talking about this story ten years on," Renaud said.

β€œI’m so indebted to him and then CEO George Perry. It was a massive risk putting me in there. I could’ve easily broken down and not been up to it physically.

β€œStill to this day, I can’t thank them enough.”

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