Paul Green's summer took a massive turn for the better when he received a last-gasp call-up to the Ireland squad for the Euro 2012 finals.
The 29-year-old midfielder thought his chances of heading to the finals had gone when he was named only on Giovanni Trapattoni's stand-by list, with his domestic future also uncertain after failing to agree a new deal with Derby.
However, Keith Fahey's misfortune when he was forced to withdraw from the squad with a groin problem on Saturday evening provided Green with an opportunity he intends to grab with both hands.
News of his elevation came as he enjoyed a family barbecue and sparked a mad rush to join up with his team-mates.
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."
Green was a regular member of Trapattoni's squad before a knee ligament injury left him facing a long battle back to full fitness. He did not make the party for February's friendly against the Czech Republic, and when his name was not included among the 23 men announced by the Italian on May 7, he thought that was that.
But having belatedly received his ticket for Poland and Ukraine, he had little time to savour his reprieve ahead of Sunday's departure for the training camp in Tuscany .
Green said: "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."