Andrew Redmayne sat on the bench for three A-League grand finals and lost one with Western Sydney prior to Sunday's breakthrough triumph.
But today the emotional goalkeeper gave credit to Sydney FC goalkeeping coach John Crawley for transforming him into a bona fide A-League champion.
The 30-year-old was Sydney's hero in Sunday night's penalty shootout grand final win over Perth, saving efforts from Glory strikers Andy Keogh and Brendon Santalab.
As it turned out, Crawley provided the intel and Redmayne decided what to do with it.
"JC does do a lot of research and, you know, I'd be naive to say that there isn't research done behind scenes," Redmayne said.
"The first thing (he) said to me was I went the wrong way with the first one.
"But you just kind of get a feeling, during the game... I just had a feeling and stuck it out."
The key moment came in the shootout's sixth penalty, when Santalab - a former teammate of Redmayne's at Western Sydney - stepped up.
Crawley had advised his student that Santalab liked the chipped effort down the middle, a 'Panenka', and it floated back into Redmayne's head.
"I've seen Santa practice a few penalties at Wanderers," he said,
"That's something that's going through my head. It's going through everyone's head.
"That's penalties. It's a mind game. It's Russian Roulette I guess."
Redmayne's modesty betrays his commitment to his craft, so easily recognisable to long-term A-League watchers.
He described his own form as "rubbish" prior to arriving at Sydney FC, and this week revealed he has put on 16kg of muscle in two seasons with the Sky Blues to improve his presence.
On Sunday night, his hard work brought the greatest dividend, when his shootout performance helped Sydney FC win a championship.
Redmayne had been a part of three title-winning sides previously.
In 2011 and 2012, he was backup gloveman at Brisbane Roar, and in 2017, he sat behind Danny Vukovic in the Sydney FC pecking order.
After his first grand final win as a participant, he was eager to shift credit to his mentor.
"What's he done for me? What hasn't he done for me," he said.
"He started me off on my career path (and) being back with him, I can't thank him enough.
"If I talk too much I'd probably tear up.
"JC as a person he's, he's a fantastic character and everything that I am is more or less down to Crawley."