Highly rated goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas has returned to the A-League Men on a three-year deal at Western Sydney Wanderers while crosstown rivals Sydney FC have re-signed veteran custodian Andrew Redmayne for the same period.
Former Victory stopper Thomas returns from Denmark, where he made 56 appearances over two seasons for Danish SuperLiga club SonderjykE.
Thomas, 30, has one Socceroos cap but is best known for his nine-year career at Victory, where he won championships in 2014-15 and 2017-18, the 2014-15 premiership and the 2015 Australia Cup.
He also claimed the Joe Marston Medal as man of the match in the 2017-18 grand final, for an outstanding goalkeeping display.
“Lawrence is a very experienced goalkeeper and comes back to the domestic league after honing his craft overseas for the last two years,” coach Mark Rudan said.
“Having started his football career in Western Sydney, it is a very exciting moment for him to come back to where it all started.
“We know Lawrence’s never-say-die attitude and his winning mentality is something that we are trying to build upon.”
The Wanderers will attempt to end a five-year A-League Men finals drought next season.
“Western Sydney has an abundance of talented footballers and I believe the club has the responsibility to excite, motivate and inspire,” Thomas said.
“The only way to do that is to give the area the best team in the country to watch every week.”
Across town, 33-year-old Redmayne was confident the Sky Blues could bounce back up the table after missing the finals for the first time in six seasons.
“I’ve been here over five years now and I’d be more than happy to finish my career at this great club,” he said.
“I feel I’ve got a lot more to give this club in the coming years and I’m certain we’ll have a squad capable of challenging for the title again this season.”
In 160 games for Sydney since joining in 2017, Redmayne has claimed three ALM championships, two premierships and an Australia Cup, while also becoming a regular Socceroos squad member.
“Redders is the best goalkeeper in Australia and it’s a huge signing to get him on board for another three years,” coach Steve Corica said.
“He is getting better with age and you can see how well he knows his craft.
“He is a great guy to have around the place as well and brings a lot of leadership and experience with him, so I’m relieved to have him on board.”