It is only a few months since Diane Caldwell joined the glittering cast in the Theatre of Dreams but she has to yet to wallow in the spotlight on centre stage.
Sure, she has been in the Old Trafford stadium and completed the tour as a bona fide Manchester United player, but she has still to absorb the immensity of feeling by running out on the famous sward in a Red Devils’ uniform.
She has played every game it has been possible for her to play, but injury thieved her chance of fulfilling the childhood dream of appearing at Old Trafford for her side’s 3-1 win against Everton, when a record crowd watched the side’s comeback win.
Caldwell was a reluctant observer. Only days earlier she had expressed her enthusiasm at the prospect.
“My eyes just lit up,” she said back in March. “I couldn’t believe it! As if signing for the best club in the world wasn’t good enough, it was a really special moment and something I’ve really been looking forward to since I signed.”
Sadly, she didn’t get the chance but may do so; she will also be absent when the European Championships take place there this summer.
Still undecided about her Old Trafford future – and there is no indication from her yet that the conjecture is not mutual – another dream does, however, remain within her grasp as Ireland quest a maiden tournament qualification.
Fully fit once more, she will return to the defence for Monday’s latest tie against Georgia which should, on all available form and logic, represent a stress-free occasion.
But not so blissful that she has set aside all ruminations on where she will play her club football next season, a potentially defining one as Ireland seek to clinch their World Cup slot.
Having recently lost her place in the Irish side to Savannah McCarthy until the Kerry woman’s devastating injury, that key career decision will be a momentous one.
“I’m not really thinking about the club,” she says before Ireland’s gruelling double-session on the eve of their departure from their Turkish warm-up base before pitching up in Georgia tomorrow evening.
“I’m here with Ireland and the main focus is on Georgia because the next game is the most important.
“I played every 90 minutes from when I arrived to when I got injured. I unfortunately got injured just before the showpiece at Old Trafford, it was obviously very bitter to miss that occasion.
“But every minute that I was there, I cherished it. I said that going into that experience – whatever happens long term, happens, but I’ve accomplished my dream and no one can ever take that away from me.
“Like I said, nothing is decided yet with my future, with Man United or whoever. Right now, it’s not in my mind, I’m just focused on what I can do here with Ireland. “Different team, different targets. That’s all that I’m focusing on right now.”
At this stage of her career, the 33-year-old cannot afford to miss a moment. Missing games for club and country sharpens that attention.
“I think I rate my mental strength as one of my highest attributes. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without being mentally strong, that’s for sure.
"I’ve always had challenges throughout my own career in various ways, selection being a small one of them, so it’s just something you have to deal with as an athlete at the top game.
“You just have to keep focusing on your strengths, improve your weaknesses and try to do whatever you can to get your moment and seize that opportunity.”
Barring a spectacular mishap – and Ireland have endured quite a few in recent years which is why complacency remains an enemy – Ireland should guarantee a World Cup play-off later this year.
It would neatly bookend a career which began with a controversial exclusion from a play-off way back in 2008, when Iceland ended their 2009 Euro hopes.
Shelbourne’s title-winning coach Noel King took a hardened stance then to the difficulties involved in securing her release from a German club side.
Caldwell, just 17 at the time, remained frozen out for three years until recalled in 2010 by Sue Ronan.
“She said, ‘You never should have been out’,” she recalls now briefly. “I wasn’t a part of that play-off against Iceland. I had been banished from the team after a falling-out with Noel King, so I wasn’t part of that group.
“Now this is our target as a group, that’s our expectation now that the group winner spot is gone. The play-off spot is still achievable, but again, we haven’t gotten there yet. There are still three games to go, we haven’t done anything yet.
“Seeing colleagues at the Euros this summer, that’s a bitter moment. You think, ‘Oh, we should be there, it’s in England, opening game in Old Trafford.’ But it wasn’t meant to be for whatever reason, so all we can do is learn from the past and implement that going forward now. We know what’s at stake.”
A World Cup? Now that truly is a theatre of all her dreams.