No Aston Villa player will look back on the 2004-05 season with more affection than Gary Cahill.
The 19-year-old defender, who has spent most of the campaign on loan at Burnley, has had such a profound effect on the Championship that he is likely to form part of Villa's Premiership squad next season.
When the Burnley FC supporters' clubs staged their player-of-the-year night, Cahill won ten awards, including three for being the best player. After helping Burnley keep 21 clean sheets, Cahill was always going to be saluted in some form.
He said: "People were telling me I would need a new trophy cabinet but I told them I'd need to buy one first because this is all new to me.
"I'm sure the people at Villa will get to know about this and I couldn't ask for more because it tells people how well things have gone for me.
"I'm not really looking forward to leaving, to be honest, because I've enjoyed my time with Burnley. It has definitely brought me on as a player, definitely. I've enjoyed every game and you can't ask for more if you're enjoying your football."
Cahill will return to Villa after Burnley's match at Millwall on Sunday. His immediate task is to be part of David O'Leary's squad for the pre- season tour of Sweden.
O'Leary said: "I wanted to let him [Cahill] go out and prove himself. I knew it might be tough at the start, but he would either sink or swim. That's what I believe in. Only time will tell but he really is showing good signs and I'm very hopeful for him.
"I think it's been a great education for him and he's got a good chance. I think a few weeks after they took him, I told Steve it wasn't about buying the player. This is a lad that I want to be pushed on. I'm a great believer in that."
Meanwhile, the forgotten man of Villa's fading season says he has no axe to grind with O'Leary.
Czech Republic defender Vaclav Drobny joined Villa on a season-long loan deal in the summer from Strasbourg but returns home tomorrow after failing to make a single first-team appearance under O'Leary.
Drobny, unhappy at not being given a chance, is adamant "no-one is to blame", even if the past nine months have turned into a nightmare he would prefer to put behind him.
Drobny said: "I expected to be given the chance of making a success of my time at Villa but it wasn't to be.
"It has not worked out and it has been really hard to take. I still can't believe this has happened to me.
"I made a decision in the summer to join and I couldn't take it back. I can only forget this year and look forward because I want to get back in the Czech squad for the World Cup.
"I hope there is still time to show the Czech manager that I am good enough."
Drobny is hoping a deal to join Nurnberg comes to fruition as he looks to resurrect his career, adding: "It is just how things have worked out. I will go back to the Czech Republic tomorrow and then rejoin Strasbourg for next summer as I have one year left of my contract.
"It is then up to Nurnberg to agree a fee and I know they are trying. If they cannot, then that is not ideal because I want to get my career going again, because I have lost a whole year. I am starting again, one year later, and I just hope that my next club will give me the chance to play."