Having developed into one of Australia's finest footballers, Aaron Mooy has capped off a stellar season by leading unfancied Huddersfield Town into the Premier League.
Mooy kept his cool as he and his teammates beat Reading in a penalty shootout in the Championship playoff final at Wembley on Monday to secure a spot in one of the world's top leagues -- a match estimated to be worth around £200 million to the Terriers, considering the riches on offer in England's top flight.
However, it wasn't long ago that Mooy was honing his skills in the A-League, firstly with Western Sydney Wanderers before growing in stature at Melbourne City. Parent club Manchester City swooped for the midfielder soon enough, but not before interest was garnered from clubs closer to home.
Mooy, 26, was targeted by scouts throughout Asia in 2016, but his move to Europe could not be turning out better. Playoff final win aside, Mooy has been named in the English Football League and PFA teams of the season, as well as picking up Huddersfield's Player of the Year award.
This dramatic rise from A-League starlet to potential Premier League starter should serve as inspiration for every Australian with their sights set on furthering their career away from home.
So many of Australia's best young footballers are being lured by the charms -- and money -- of China and Middle East. While understandable from a financial point of view, there is still much to be gained for players willing to compete in Europe -- including, evidently, the lower divisions.
China in particular has proved to be a tricky destination for Aussies. The recent travails of Robbie Kruse and James Holland are a perfect case in point. The duo should be playing at a level which keeps them on track to impress for the Socceroos at the Confederations Cup next month. Instead, they find themselves clubless and out of pocket.
Kruse and Holland severed ties with Liaoning Whowin last week after a pay dispute which allegedly sees them owed around AU$1.5 million. They joined the northern Chinese club just four months ago.
The pair aren't the only national team hopefuls to make the switch to China only to become embroiled in a wage dispute either. In the past few years, James Troisi, Dario Vidosic and Michael Thwaite, to name but a few, all reportedly struggled to receive payments on time. What's more, none managed to take their on-field efforts to new heights.
Contrast that with Mooy, whose performances for club -- and subsequently country -- have now made him the subject of interest from Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, with a reported £10 million price tag on his head. Suddenly a loan move to West Yorkshire starts making a lot of sense. A willingness to play regularly in a strong league -- and using that as a stepping stone to bigger things -- remains the best passage to success. Whether with Huddersfield Town or one of his other suitors, Mooy's path now sees him destined for the Premier League next term.
This patient progress is something which Mooy has focused on throughout his career. The Sydney-born midfielder only returned home to the A-League after serving an apprenticeship with Bolton Wanderers and St Mirren. He was then equipped for full-time senior football.
As ever, he carefully selected the best possible move for his career, rather than purely chasing the bait of big money.
Huddersfield may not be the most exotic locale for one of Australia's best footballers to find himself, but try convincing Mooy that it wasn't the best place for him as savours Monday's triumph at Wembley.
This article was originally posted as 'Huddersfield hero Aaron Mooy blazes a trail for Aussie hopefuls in Europe'