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How Socceroos ‘keeper Andrew Redmayne went from fighting for place in the A-League to World Cup hero

How CLUTCH Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew ‘the Gray Wiggle’ Redmayne went from battling for his spot in the A-League to unlikely World Cup qualifier hero

Socceroos’ reserve goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne is Australia’s toast after sealing Australia’s passage to the FIFA World Cup.

But the goalkeeper fought for his place in the Australian A-League competition just four months ago.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold delivered a stunning selection shock at the end of double overtime in the Socceroos do-or-die qualifier clash against Peru in Doha by hooking regular goalkeeper and captain Mat Ryan.

Instead, he injected Redmayne as a penalty kick specialist.

Redmayne has earned the nickname ‘The Gray Wiggle’ for his dance routine in the net to eliminate opponent players during penalty strokes.

Be it routine, acumen or blind luck, Redmayne got the job done when Australia won the penalty shootout 4-3 after trailing 1-0.

‘I am not a hero,’ said a modest Redmayne afterwards.

“I just played my part like everyone else did tonight.

“I can’t thank the team and the staff enough.

“I’m not going to take credit for this, because the boys had 120 minutes.

“It takes those on the pitch, the guys on the bench, those in the stands, those who missed the squad.

“It’s a team game, a team effort and I can’t earn more points than the other 27” [squad members] are here.’

Redmayne (L) celebrates with Australian defender Aziz Behich after winning the interconfederation play-offs for the 2022 World Cup between Australia and Peru

Redmayne (L) celebrates with Australian defender Aziz Behich after winning the interconfederation play-offs for the 2022 World Cup between Australia and Peru

It has only been months since Redmayne fought to take his place in the net for Sydney FC.

In February of this year, Redmayne wasn’t sure he would even become the goalkeeper for Sydney FC after an injury and the sparkling form of understudy Thomas Heward-Belle.

Redmayne returned from Socceroos duty but was controversially overlooked by Sydney FC coach Steve Corica before their clash against Adelaide United. Corica’s headache got worse when Heward-Belle saved a penalty while Sydney FC held out for a 2-1 win.

“It’s a difficult one,” Corica said at the time.

Australian players celebrate like it's 2005, the last time the Socceroos had to qualify for the FIFA World Cup on penalty goals

Australian players celebrate like it’s 2005, the last time the Socceroos had to qualify for the FIFA World Cup on penalty goals

“Obviously, Redders left with the national team and returned to Adelaide the day before.

“It’s something I have to make a decision about, but obviously it’s also good competition for Redders as Tommy has stepped it up.

“He’s doing a great job and that can only make for good competition for places and that’s what we want.”

An effusive Redmayne refused to take the win, praising every player who played a part in the qualifying process, forcing the Socceroos to play 16 out of 20 games outdoors.

Ryan's decisive save that sent Australia to its fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup

Ryan’s decisive save that sent Australia to its fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup

Socceroos teammate Mitchell Duke, however, was ready to fill Redmayne’s boots with praise.

“He was all confused,” he said.

†[Coach Graham Arnold] gave him that faith.

“I know Matty will be disappointed, but everyone played their part.

‘I cannot explain this feeling. It’s a total ecstasy.’

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