Maik Taylor is gearing himself for a double battle — for club and country.
While the international gloves can be put aside for now, the experienced shot-stopper is keen to get them dirty again at Birmingham City.
There are exciting times at St. Andrews with manager Alex McLeish promised a £40m transfer kitty after Carson Yeung’s take-over, but Taylor’s main ambition is to take over the spot between the posts.
He has lost his place to Joe Hart, but Taylor is determined to reclaim the jersey.
He said: “I have a difficult challenge at Birmingham because Joe Hart has come in and done very well, but I am up for it. I've never shirked a challenge before and I'm not about to start now. I've come out on top 90% of the time and hopefully I'll do it again.
“It's still early in the season and I will keep fighting for my place.”
And that is the same for country too after the 38-year-old pledged to carry on his international career.
After the World Cup campaign came to an end with Wednesday night’s scoreless draw with the Czech Republic, Taylor is confident that exciting times are just around the corner.
He said: “You are always going to have a few slip-ups games, but the important thing is to learn from those mistakes. We are improving all the time though. We are getting greater strength in depth. The future is fantastic for Northern Ireland.
“I am excited about it and this is the reason why I told Nigel I wanted to continue my international career.”