At the age of 27, James McClean has certainly blossomed into a key player for both club and country.
West Brom are currently well placed within the top half of the Premier League, while the Republic of Ireland lead the way in their group for the 2018 World Cup finals.
McClean has been on the scoresheet three times for Martin O'Neill's side in their unbeaten start on the road to Russia.
All round it's been a good year for the Derryman and he clearly is intent to scale even greater heights.
RTÉ Radio's Sunday Sport caught up with McClean at the West Brom training camp outside Birmingham where he spoke to reporter Barry O'Neill about his desire to make 2017 even better.
He also paid tribute Derry's sporting and musical success and his intention to finish his career at Derry City and then manage the club where he made his mark before joining Sunderland in 2011.
"Derry is where I started and that's where I would like to end my career," he said.
"It's a club that holds a special place in my heart. On the day I left Derry City to join Sunderland I said it's the place I want to end my career. Hopefully they'll have me.
"To be manager of my hometown club means a lot to me. I'd be liar if I said it was something that didn't interest me."
McClean also paid tribute to his former boss Stephen Kenny.
"I hold Stephen in high regard after he gave me my break," he said.
"I was a skinny, raw 18-year-old against Bohemians when I made my debut. He placed a lot of faith and trust in me and I think I have repaid that faith. He was a father figure to me."
Listen to the full interview:
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