THERE'S the 'road less travelled' and then there's the route through which Shane Carthy has come to arrive in Sunday's AIB Leinster club SFC final playing for St Vincent's.
At 13 years of age, Carthy had never played Gaelic football.
His sports of choice were soccer and ice-hockey, living - as he did - in Yonkers, the fourth most populated city in the State of New York, bordering the Bronx two miles north of Manhattan.
Now at 23, he has won a club All-Ireland title, a Leinster and back-to-back Dublin championships. He's played in the Connacht SFC for New York against both Mayo and Galway and spent a brief time at the beginning of last summer of the Dublin senior football panel.
Such has been his form this year, he's a steady bet to get another crack with Jim Gavin in 2015.
But in between, Carthy will head back Stateside on December 23 and spend his Christmas there.
"My Dad (originally from Raheny) still lives over in New York and a bit of the family is there so at Christmas I go over for a week or two and then I come back and get cracking with the books again," said Carthy yesterday upon receiving a DCU Business School MBA scholarship through the GPA.
Having lived from the ages of four and 18 in New York, Carthy arrived in DCU and joined Vincent's on account of a family link going back to his grandmother.
"And, to be fair, DCU have done everything for me," he says.
"Michael Kennedy, I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.
"I had trained over there for years and had to do a lot of training on my own. I had to do a lot of hard grafting over there.
"And then when I came over here, St Vincent's in fairness gave me the stepping stone to take it that bit further
"They've been great and so have DCU. I couldn't have done it without them.
"Football wasn't a great standard there (in New York) and I knew college-wise the opportunities I would have over here would have been better than what I would have had over there for the price of fees and stuff like that.
"I made the decision with my family and they fully supported me and I haven't looked back since.
"I played on the Féile team with New York and in fairness they put a serious amount of work in over the last few years.
"I came over on a minor team as well so I was always interested in coming back.
"I always knew what I wanted to do.
"Vincent's are a great side and I wanted to come back play with them and push on to Dublin as well.
"That was always the dream, to win All-Irelands. That's always what you are doing it for. I had that in the back of my mind and that's what I wanted to do."
And surely, he'll get the chance given Carthy is that all-too-rare species of modern footballer: a prolific wing-forward.
In five Dublin SFC matches this year, he scored 2-8. In Leinster so far, he bagged 2-2 against Portlaoise and 1-1 last time out against Westmeath champions, Garycastle, numbers bound to prick Gavin's attentions having been involved for a short slot in the Dublin training panel after last March's All-Ireland club final win.
"When myself and Mick Concarr came in there was no rounds left really so it was just training," he explains.
"So we didn't get the chance really. Hopefully now we'll get a good run this year if we win the All-Ireland again we'll take it from there."
He's got a discernable Dublin accent now too, but isn't just sure what side of the Atlantic he'll end up.
"I've assimilated now so I'm going to stick with it for a while," Carthy explains. "I love New york and I love Ireland too. I'm a home bird but I love how things are going here, college-wise and football-wise. So I'm taking it as it comes."