Sheffield Wednesday No 1 Cameron Dawson admits he considered quitting Hillsborough to secure first-team football.
There was a time when Dawson was the third-choice goalkeeper at Hillsborough, behind Keiren Westwood and Joe Wildsmith.
But the 24-year-old – a boyhood Owls supporter – has seen his patience rewarded, starting the last 15 games for Wednesday.
He signed a new long-term deal last week, as Owls boss Garry Monk – like Jos Luhukay before him – put his faith in Dawson, ahead of the experienced Republic of Ireland stopper Westwood.
Asked whether he considered leaving Hillsborough, Dawson said: “The honest answer to that is yes, of course. It’s not always been plain sailing, there has been some tough times along the way.
“Times when I have had to go away and rebuild myself and come back.
“But the recent past, what has happened over the last few months, it would have been silly for me to throw that away.
“I am delighted to play for this football club, it’s a football club I have great affection towards.
“I am delighted with the long-term deal, it gives me security so I can just work and concentrate on my football.
“We got the deal done quite quick, which was good for both parties. I really need to thank the chairman for that, it’s easy for these things to drag on.
“From both sides, it was something we wanted to get done pretty sharpish.”
Dawson – who made his Owls debut in 2016 – has made 60 appearances for the club, 21 of those coming this season.
A run of just one win in their last seven Championship games – slipping from third to 11th – has left Wednesday seven points adrift of the play-offs, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Barnsley.
“I think it’s important, at this time, we don’t look at that,” Dawson said. “It’s important to get back to what we know and concentrate on ourselves, bringing that fight, commitment and energy. I am sure the results will then follow.”
Wednesday have been boosted by the arrival of attacking trio Connor Wickham, Josh Windass and Alessio Da Cruz.
Wickham and Windass could debut at Oakwell, while Dutchman Da Cruz impressed in a cameo appearance in a 0-0 draw with Millwall on Saturday.
“He (Da Cruz) will bring something a bit different up the top end of the pitch,” said Dawson. “He looks a good player.”