HE'S been to Hull and back, but there are no tears for Seán Hoare after his bid to earn a Premier League move failed to pan out.
And as he prepares for his first taste of pre-season action with St Patrick's Athletic tonight, the Ireland U21 cap says that his spell on trial with Steve Bruce's outfit proved he can cut it at a higher level, though the new season with the Inchicore club is now his main focus.
Still only 20, Hoare pulled off some real achievements in 2014 as he played in the Champions League, won an FAI Cup medal and was also promoted to the Ireland U21 squad.
Hull, who raided the League of Ireland to sign Brian Lenihan last year, invited him for a trial which did not yield a contract for Hoare but was still a positive.
"It was a great experience for me and I thought I did well over there. I was still on a high, having just made my debut for the Irish U21s a few weeks earlier. I did my best and I think I made a good impression but it just wasn't to be," says Hoare.
"I think I was due to go back to Hull a few weeks later to play in a game for their U21s but there was some issue with the international clearance as I was obviously still under contract with St Pat's.
"It didn't happen for me this time but I might get another opportunity down the road, and if a Premier League club have taken a look at you, other clubs will think that you must have something.
"I did my best over there and I could do no more, I hope I made a good impression but maybe the time just wasn't right for a move," he added.
"I trained with the first team for four days and it went well, I didn't feel out of place."
Illness forced Hoare to miss the Saints' first game of 2015 on Monday but he hopes to feature in a pre-season friendly away to Wexford Youths tonight, Inchicore now his focus.
"I am happy at Pat's. I have ambitions for myself and my career, but if anyone had said that the worst-case scenario from the trial was that I'd be back at Pat's, I would be very happy with that. I love it here," he says.
"I'm still young, I'm not even 21 yet so I have plenty of time and a move abroad could still happen for me.
"But if it doesn't come off, I won't get down about it.
"It was a big deal to win the FAI Cup and end that 50-year hoodoo but we have put that to one side now and are focused on winning the league again," the Saints defender added.