Stephen Ireland is determined to rebuild his career at Aston Villa after going from player of the year to spare part in barely 12 months at Manchester City.
The Irishman was City's outstanding player in the 2008-09 campaign, and recognised as such by his team-mates, but a year later he found himself being ushered away by new manager Roberto Mancini and with little option but to move on.
He turns 24 on Sunday, and believes by leaving Eastlands as part of the deal which took James Milner to City he has taken his career in the right direction.
"I have plenty of personal ambitions," Ireland told www.avfc.co.uk. "I want to get back to playing the way I can - I haven't played 90 minutes in nearly eight or nine months, which isn't normal really for me.
"I've kind of forgotten the feeling what it is like to come off after a game feeling tired, winning or losing. I'm not used to sitting out for so long.
"So for me, I want to get back to playing at the top of my game and I want to work hard for my team-mates.
"I want to see if my team-mates and myself can push on and achieve something massive this season.
"Hopefully I can come here and build on that and help Aston Villa push on to better targets and reach higher goals. Hopefully I can be of benefit to the team.
"I think we have got a good bunch of young lads here who can go on and achieve something for themselves and for the club as well. We've got a very good squad."
Ireland could embarrass City if he rediscovers his best form at Villa, having looked an outstanding prospect as a midfielder with an eye for goal under Mancini's predecessor Mark Hughes.
He is believed to have been valued at £8million in a deal reportedly worth £26million in total, and may make his debut against Newcastle on his birthday this weekend.
Since taking over from Hughes at City, Mancini has continued to spend heavily on players thanks to the backing of owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, with Ireland and Craig Bellamy, who moved on to Cardiff this week, effectively frozen out.
Villa owner Randy Lerner is unlikely to embark on such a spree, so Ireland can expect to have a run in the team, thanks to Milner's move in the opposite direction creating a vacancy in central midfield.
Ireland said: "My number one target is to work hard for my team-mates, show them what I can bring to the table, show them they can rely on me and that I am going to work hard for them week in, week out.
"When I get my chance to get on the ball, hopefully I'll shine as well. I am really excited. I have only been here a day but I know what it is about already.
"It is a family club, I've seen a lot of happy faces here and a lot of friendly faces, so I am really excited for the future here."
Villa caretaker-manager Kevin MacDonald was naturally disappointed to see Milner leave, but delighted to have Ireland on board.
Speaking in Vienna ahead of the first leg of Villa's Europa League play-off clash with Rapid at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium on Thursday, MacDonald said: "Stephen is a very talented young player who will complement the talented young players we already have.
"Hopefully Stephen will be as good for us as James was, and good luck to him at Manchester City.
"It's sad to see James go, but it's a great boost for the club that Stephen is coming in."
Asked to highlight the differences between Ireland and Milner, MacDonald said: "Stephen's slightly different from James, but both are intelligent footballers.
"Stephen is a more inventive player who can link up with people, gets in the box and scores a lot more goals, and hopefully he'll do that for us.
"James has developed into a natural midfield player, Stephen has obviously played there most of his career, and from a young age.
"He probably understands the position a little more - not better - but a little more than James does, but they are two very fine footballers."