This time last year Luis Zwick had been given plenty of game time but it’s fair to say that wasn’t all good news for the young German.
With Dundee United deciding to go for youth instead of finding an experienced replacement when Rado Cierzniak headed home to Poland in the summer, Zwick had been thrust into top-team action arguably before he was ready.
Thirteen games in, with United struggling at the bottom of the Premiership, new manager Mixu Paatelainen decided he had to take the 21-year-old out of the firing line.
First he was replaced by Pole Michael Szromnik and then, from the turn of the year, Japanese international Eiji Kawashima.
Zwick did return for a couple of games towards the end of the campaign and performed well in victories over Ross County and Kilmarnock.
Even so, it had to go down as a difficult first year as a first-team squad player.
This time round, Zwick’s involvement has usually been via a seat on the bench as back-up to summer signing Cammy Bell.
To date he’s been used in three Irn-Bru Cup ties and when an injury forced Bell off at half-time down at Queen of the South the other week.
Each time, though, the Berliner has turned in assured performances that have shown why United decided to bring him over the North Sea back in 2014.
And speak to a man, who at 22 still ranks as a very young goalie, and you get the sense of a much more confident player who’s ready to fight for a long future at Tannadice.
Against Dunfermline in the Irn-Bru quarter-finals he chalked up a third clean sheet in four appearances and, while no one can dispute Bell remains very much first choice, showed the Tangerines have a keeper they can rely on if he’s called into action.
Quietly spoken and not one for blowing his own trumpet, it’s clear he not only believes that of himself but of all the other fringe men at Tannadice.
“I think in training over the whole squad there is a good spirit and that is what a team must have if they want to go on and be successful,” he said.
“When I have played, we have won and that is showing with every player who comes into the team.
“We made changes for Saturday. It was a different team from the previous game against Dunfermline in the league last week but we showed we can play at the same level and got another win.
“That shows why at the end of the season we can be at the top because we have a squad of players who are good enough to do well when they play.”
Zwick’s own task to earn a regular place looks a daunting one. Bell has been one of United’s star men since signing up from Rangers and is not going to be easy to dislodge.
That won’t stop the No 2 giving it his best shot and, more importantly, working hard to make sure he’s ready for action when called on.
And in typical goalkeeper fashion, he insists the battle for that No 1 jersey is a friendly one.
“He is a very nice guy and I have a good relationship with him. I enjoy working with him and I think we learn from each other.
“Obviously, I want to play every game but right now we are successful and we have to keep winning, this is the important thing.
“To do that we must have two good goalkeepers to push each other and make sure the one in the team is playing well.”