Paul Green has revealed his joy after receiving a last-gasp call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad for the Euro 2012 finals.
The 29-year-old's chance appeared to have gone when he was only named on Giovanni Trapattoni's stand-by list for the tournament.
With his club future also uncertain after failing to agree a new deal with Derby, it was already looking like a summer to forget for the midfielder.
But Keith Fahey's misfortune when he was forced to withdraw from the squad with a groin problem at the weekend has provided Green with his opportunity.
And the former Doncaster player was delighted to get his chance.
Green said: "I got off the phone and told my parents, because I was round there at a family barbecue, and they just started screaming and hugging me and kissing me and saying they were so proud of me.
"It's a great achievement to get in the squad because there are some good players here.
"I am obviously gutted for Keith Fahey, who has been in every squad. I room with him and I am just absolutely gutted for him, but delighted for myself."
Race against time
"I got the phone call at about 9pm, left there about 10pm, 11pm.
"I got back to Derby in an hour, got my stuff ready, got to bed about 1am and was then up at 4am, on the plane at 6am, into Dublin Airport and met up with all the lads at about 9.30am, then straight over here."
Green was a regular member of Trapattoni's squad before a knee ligament injury left him facing a long battle back to full fitness.
But, while injury might have cast Green in the role of forgotten man, he revealed that Trapattoni kept tabs on him throughout his recovery and rehabilitation, and that proved a huge motivation.
He added: "When I was injured, he kept ringing me and texting me to see how I was getting on, and it was nice to get those calls.
"It's nice to be rated by the manager because he has done a lot in the game and has still got the desire and passion to do well for the country.
"It's massive, and it shows in his team."
Trapattoni has confirmed Green will get some game-time in Tuesday night's outing against a Tuscan Select side at the Stadio Melani in Pistoia as he attempts to get back up to speed.