Ciaran Gourley thought when he missed Tyrone's entire 2005 All Ireland championship campaign during which they collected the Sam Maguire Cup for the second time that his chance of honours had gone.
Injury had precluded his involvement in the action and indeed appeared to have put a question mark over his career.
But today Ciaran is riding the crest of a sporting wave - and there could be another bonus on the horizon.
Having helped Rock to win the Tyrone Junior football championship title, he played a leading role in taking the team into the Ulster Junior decider in which they will meet Monaghan champions Aughnamullan on Sunday.
Ciaran collected All Ireland Minor, Under 21 and Senior medals with Tyrone prior to his 2005 setback and also landed a National League honour having been a key member of the Red Hands defence when they made their breakthrough in 2003.
He knows what it's like to achieve success at colleges level - and he's seeking more right now.
He was in the St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon side that won the Hogan Cup in 1997 and today he is manager of the school team.
As centre-half-back in the Rock side, his contribution to their success to date has been immense but Ciaran insists that "a magnificent team spirit" has carried the outfit thus far.
"We have a decent ration of self-belief and the boys are really dedicated," he maintains.