Robbie Brady has admitted he took the agonising decision to leave Manchester United to protect his fledgling international career.
The 21-year-old winger completed a permanent move to npower Championship Hull last month after two successful loan spells at the KC Stadium, and is now fully engaged in the Tigers' bid to drag themselves back into the Barclays Premier League.
He will hope to win his fifth senior international cap when the Republic of Ireland entertain Poland in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday night after reluctantly deciding his lack of senior football at Old Trafford could prove detrimental to his chances of representing his country on a consistent basis.
Brady said: "I have always been a Manchester United fan and I always will be. I love the club.
"But it was just the right time for me to get out and play. I need to be playing every week, especially if I want to stay in the international set-up, so it was the right move.
"Obviously, part of me is disappointed and thinking, 'What if?', but you go away and play and work your way back to the top."
However, while Brady felt he had to leave United, he will always be grateful for the years he spent there learning his trade.
Asked if he was determined to prove Sir Alex Ferguson wrong for letting him go, he said: "He's got a lot to think about. He's got so many players to accommodate and make sure he gets the best out of his players.
"I've been taught so much at Manchester United in the last few years, I really appreciate everything they have done for me.
"But I would love to go back and hopefully show him something while I get back to the top."
Brady scored on his senior international debut in a friendly against Oman in September last year and has figured in each of the three games Ireland have played since.
Indeed, Giovanni Trapattoni turned to him in his hour of need when, after a 6-1 World Cup qualifier drubbing by Germany in October, he handed him a start in the 4-1 defeat of the Faroe Islands in Torshavn amid a frenzy of speculation over the manager's future.
Brady said: "I had been playing well before that and to have his trust put in me, it was brilliant for me.
"I was over the moon when I got the nod. Although I thought I could have played a bit better at times, I was still happy with the start.
"I know he's got faith in me, so hopefully I can repay that by playing well.
"It's all I have ever dreamed about, playing for my country at home, especially. I am really enjoying it. It's hopefully the start of more things to come."