Rhys Breen has revealed that the trust shown in him by manager James McPake is a big reason why he is staying at KDM Group East End Park.
The towering centre-half has capped off a championship-winning season by signing a new contract with Dunfermline that keeps him at the club until 2025.
It is one of many stories of redemption the Pars ranks.
Breen fell out of favour last season under John Hughes, who took over in November following the departure of Peter Grant.
The 23-year-old started just one of the final 17 Scottish Championship matches – and no part in the subsequent playoff.
“Last season, [trust] was the one thing that was lacking,” said Breen. “The manager didn’t have trust in me, he didn’t believe in my ability.
Over the course of the preseason that I came back I had to make sure that I was fit. I had to go and prove a point really and I feel that I have done that.
“It is only one season. I have had a good season and I need to look into the future and make sure next season is going to be even better than I had this season.”
His current boss enjoyed the benefits and Breen went on to form a formidable defensive pairing with captain Kyle Benedictus.
The defender has also been a threat at the other end, scoring five goals – including the opener in the crucial win over Falkirk.
“It’s down to him,” said McPake. “He came back in very good condition.
“In his own head, he had a disappointing last season, before this one. He came back in, probably with a real point to prove to himself.
“He wanted to go out and show that he can be a first-team player at this football club.”
Those efforts have culminated in a deserved new contract.
There had been speculation that other clubs were interested, but Breen said he’d have been “stupid” not to stay.
“It is brilliant to get it over the line, it has been a really really good season for me,” he added.
“I thought it would be quite stupid not to sign a deal here, especially with the boys and the way that I was progressing here. It was a no-brainer for me.
“It has been an ongoing thing for a while but finally I have been able to sign it. It is something that I have wanted to get done, I’m glad that I have done it now.”