Richard Dunne was feeling positive about his future after ending a year on the sidelines with an appearance for the Republic of Ireland in their 4-0 win over Georgia.
Dunne has been absent since Euro 2012 with groin and hip injuries, missing the whole of the Premier League season with Aston Villa as he needed three separate surgeries.
The centre-back is out of contract with Villa this summer and expects to be leaving the club, and he hopes even a brief 25-minute cameo off the bench will help him earn a contract somewhere.
Coach Giovanni Trapattoni said there was a chance Dunne would get another chance in the World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands on Friday.
"Ideally, you would try to play games behind closed doors and stuff like that, but as games go, I don't think it could have gone more perfectly than today," said Dunne.
"It was ideal. It was what I wanted, just the confidence to know that I can compete and more so, the week's training has been as hard as the game was.
"It was important for me just to clear my mind of what has gone on in the last year, and I feel now that I can progress and play again for a couple of years."