Ten years ago Kallum Higginbotham started the season in front of 598 fans at Brechin and finished it as a play-off winner in front of 52,000 at Wembley.
On Sunday, Higginbotham will be back at Glebe Park aiming to become a history-maker as a pyramid play-off hero with Kelty Hearts.
Kelty will travel to Angus bidding to protect a 2-1 lead as they try to take City’s place in the SPFL in what will be the biggest 90 minutes in the Fife club’s 46-year existence.
“I’ve been lucky in my career to play in some massive games. I’ve played down in Wembley in promotion play-offs before.”
As a play-off winner with Huddersfield in 2012, months after facing Brechin with Falkirk in the League Cup, Higginbotham knows what it takes to get the job done.
Midfielder Higgy, 31, admits he will have ‘butterflies’ in his stomach as he takes the field at Brechin but having played at Wembley, Hampden, Celtic Park and Ibrox, he’s ready for the challenge.
“I’ve been lucky in my career to play in some massive games,” said Higginbotham. “I’ve played down in Wembley in promotion play-offs before.
“This game is definitely up there with the best. I’m not for one minute taking anything away from the game. It’s massive.
“It means the world to me. I still get butterflies going into a game like this and I know what it means to the clubs and all the players.
“It’s an exciting journey we are on at Kelty Hearts and this is a massive step along the way. It’s probably the biggest game in the club’s history.
“Every single one of the boys in our dressing room will know how important it is for the club and for the future.
“To match our ambitions, we need to be in the SPFL. It’s in our hands now.
“Brechin are fighting for their lives but will have to come at us but I know the talent we’ve got in our squad. I believe we will go and win on Sunday.”
Higginbotham netted the opener in his side’s 2-1 first leg win at New Central Park but still left the pitch feeling disappointed that Barry Ferguson’s side hadn’t built up a more commanding lead ahead of the trip north.
It’s testament to the ambition of Kelty and club owner Dean McKenzie that they expected more.
However, it also opens the door for Michael Paton’s men to emulate Angus rivals Montrose and produce the ‘great escape’ to retain their SPFL status.
Six years ago, Montrose hosted Brora Rangers in the first-ever pyramid play-off final facing a one-goal deficit from the first leg.
They overturned it with a 3-1 win and have gone from strength-to-strength ever since as an established League One side.
Higginbotham does not under-estimate the task at hand but is brimming with belief that a Kelty squad peppered with SPFL experience can see off Brechin.
“The aim at the start of the season was to get promotion,” added former Dunfermline and Kilmarnock star Higginbotham. “For a few weeks I didn’t think it was going to happen but, thankfully, we got the decision we all wanted.
“We played well against Brora in the semi-final and while we were disappointed with how we played in the first game against Brechin we achieved our objective.
“It’s now in our hands. It’s ours to lose and I firmly believe we won’t lose.”