Luke Brattan has been rewarded for his dazzling start to the A-League season with a return to Socceroos reckoning.
On Tuesday, he was putting Melbourne Victory to the sword with his second man-of-the-match derby performance in as many weeks.
A day later, the Melbourne City midfielder was named in an extended 30-man squad for next month's World Cup qualifier against Thailand by Ange Postecoglou.
The 26-year-old's talent has never been in question and he grew to become a key member of the Brisbane Roar's midfield during their championship-winning era.
At City, he's picked up where he left off, and is a key reason while John van 't Schip's side will play off in the FFA Cup final next month, and is being spoken about as A-League championship contenders.
But his return to the national team squad for the first time in 12 months speaks to another of his qualities; tenacity.
The England-born and Queensland-raised midfielder signed for Manchester City last year but didn't make a first team start for the Premier League giants, nor loan club Bolton Wanderers in a taxing season.
Some saw it as a wasted year, but Brattan said if he had the chance to do it all over again, he would.
"I think I've matured living away from my family, doing it tough over there," he said.
"I was frustrated at not playing but I've learned a lot about myself on and off the field.
"I wasn't thinking about [the Socceroos] at all, I was more worried about just playing football."
At City, he's been handed a role as a modified eight in van 't Schip's unorthodox attacking-oriented formation.
Two goals to date for the long-time defensive midfielder shows Brattan would offer a lot for Postecoglou, should he make the cut.
"I played six for most of my career. Now playing higher up, there's a bit more freedom but it's hard work -- a lot more running, pressing and all that," he said.
"If I make the [Socceroos] squad, that's great. I can't wait to get back in the mix.
"I want to be there very, very badly.
"I'm enjoying my football now, I'm playing with a smile on my face and loving every minute of it."