If goalkeeper is the least popular football position, then surely goalkeeper coaching is at the bottom of the food chain, right?

Well despite the lack of prestige, new Socceroos goalkeeper coach John Crawley is a name already familiar to most A-League fans.

He's been largely responsible for the continuation of Australia's remarkable record of goalkeeper development, having mentored Mat Ryan during the shot-stoppers early days at Central Coast Mariners.

After jumping ship to Sydney FC, he's burgeoned two of the greatest career turnarounds in recent A-League memory.

First he spawned the resurgence of Danny Vukovic, a player who had usurped him at the end of his playing days at the Mariners. Vukovic just won the Belgian league title with Genk, keeping a record amount of clean sheets in the process.

Then he developed his Sydney replacement, Andrew Redmayne, taking the 30-year-old former Arsenal trialler from nearly-was to A-League Championship winner.

Perhaps most notably, Crawley was the mind behind Redmayne's decision to stand tall for Brendon Santalab's saved-penalty in the Grand Final: he even knew Santa was going to chip.

"I probably shouldn't say this but I was rubbish when I first came to Sydney," Redmayne told the Sydney Morning Herald in a profile about Crawley.

"There's been a hell of a lot of hard work but that's all credit to John, he's been immense."

So what's so special about Crawley?

The 47-year-old was at his height during the era of Robert Zabica and Mark Bosnich, so never made a Socceroo cap (arguably one of the greatest Australians never to do so) but that didn't stop him having a unique, influential career.

In an almost-unheard-of move for Australians before and since, Crawley was recruited by Chilean giants Colo-Colo, spending five years at the South American champions before returning to Australia with a pioneering approach to goalkeeper training.

Crawley espouses an aggressive approach among keepers, with a renown for side-volleyed goalkeeper kicks which can be remarkably powerful and accurate: Ryan was rated among the best Premier League goalkeepers for kicking accuracy last season.

"One-v-ones and side volleys have been around South America well before I was there and I was there in the early 90s," Crawley said.

"It’s very popular in the English game now, everyone is saying how they’ve evolved but the South Americans have been doing that forever."

Now Graham Arnold, who worked with Crawley at both the Mariners and Sydney, has lured the esteemed coach to the Socceroos set-up.

Here, he'll continue his influence over the creme-de-la-creme of Australian talent, from Mitch Langerak to Olyroos and Tottenham Hotspur stopper Tom Glover.

“John Crawley’s reputation in honing top class Australian goalkeepers is second to none,” Arnold said.

“I’m delighted to welcome John, who I worked with at both Central Coast and Sydney FC, to our staff, and know that he will make a great contribution to the Socceroos over the coming years.”

“John’s work ethic and passion for developing Australian goalkeepers made him an outstanding candidate for the role, and I know the goalkeepers currently associated with the Socceroos are pleased with his appointment."