As a 21-year-old, Adam Taggart had the world at his agile feet.
Selected in Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and signed by English club Fulham after a stellar season with Newcastle Jets, the striker was kicking goals on and off the field.
"It was unbelievable, it’s everything you’ve ever worked towards as a kid," Taggart told Goal.
"I think the whole experience changed me and made me a hungrier person to know exactly what it was like to play at that level."
"That experience drives me to be a better player and I hope to get back there one day."
As that last line suggests, football isn't a fan of fairytales and after playing two games for the Socceroos in Brazil, injury would derail Taggart's Fulham expedition as he failed to play for the club over two years in between a loan stint with Scottish side Dundee United.
Though his injury was treated somewhat questionably and he didn't get to grace the Craven Cottage pitch for the club, Taggart looks back on the experience with the makeshift positivity that's defined his play as a goal scorer.
"It was a dream move for me and to be hounded by injury was really disappointing," he said.
"It was a club I really wanted to do well at and to show everyone what I could do at that level.
"Of course it’s frustrating, but it’s happened now so there’s no point looking back in a negative way or anything like that.
"It’s all experience that I can learn from and it can only get better.
"I still think being there has helped me develop as a person and as a player so I think in the end it was a good experience. It was just not the exact experience I was hoping for when I first went over there."
Back with Perth Glory
Returning to Australia in 2016 desperate to overcome injury and get his career back on track, the now 24-year-old is now undoubtedly on the right road.
Despite another minor injury this season, Taggart has struck seven times in 13 leagues games for Perth Glory as they chase an unlikely top six spot.
With three goals in his past two games since returning from injury, the Western Australian is hopeful of finishing the season with a bang ahead of a crunch clash against Brisbane Roar.
"A difficult season for the club and myself in general I guess but it’s just good to be on the road to hopefully a bit of success," Taggart said.
"Brisbane and Perth have had a similar season, had a lot of injuries, injuries to key players, so I'm sure we’re both focusing on things.
"Come Saturday it’s a big test for us both."
Off contract with the club at the end of the season, Taggart is eager to test himself overseas and is open to a range of destinations.
"I still want to go overseas again, whether it’s Asia or back in Europe," he said.
"I just want to hopefully get a good opportunity somewhere after having a good year in the A-League.
"I think that’s important to go somewhere with a bit of value and worth after a good year to make sure you have a good chance to be playing.
"I still have really big ambitions so I guess we’ll just see what comes in the next couple years."
Socceroos a big target for Taggart
While around this time four years ago, a still 20-year-old Taggart was on the verge of a call up to the national team, his recent injury history means a repeat for Russia is unlikely.
But with an Asian Cup looming and goals not coming all that freely for the Socceroos, Taggart is determined to get back into the squad.
"I want to get back in there, I’ve just got to keep working hard and doing what I can do to try and put myself in the window," he said.
"It’s always going to be tough to get into but you’ve always got to have your dream and ambitions."
With Graham Arnold set to take charge as a coach after Russia, the Western-Australian born attacker is excited by the appointment.
"That was the one that sort of had to happen, especially after the World Cup," Taggart said.
"He’s been a fantastic coach in the A-League for a number years now and knowing the Australian players and Australian culture, it’s a no brainer to have him in there.
"I’m sure the future of Australia will be really good and something good for all the young Aussie players having a coach like him who’s developed so many young players in the past."
Though he may no longer be classed as a young player himself, Taggart's talent is unquestionable and after learning from an unlucky run of injuries, he now has the world even more firmly at his feet.