There have been times when Henrich Ravas questioned his decision to pack his bags and turn his back on Slovakia for a life in England.
But as the teenage goalkeeper ran out of the tunnel at Edgeley Park on Saturday, he felt nothing but vindication.
“When I first came here I was missing home,” the 17-year-old said.
“I found life very hard and I didn’t speak the language as well as I do now, which was a big problem.
“It was hard, but I knew I wanted to be successful. As a boy I dreamed of playing in England and playing for Manchester United.”
On Saturday, Ravas got his chance to turn out for United in Greater Manchester, but it was for Boston in their National League North curtain-raiser at Stockport County, albeit a league debut for the on-loan Peterborough youth teamer.
“It was an unbelievable memory for me today,” Ravas continued, speaking after the final whistle.
“I played in front of 3,000 people. In the Slovakian Super Liga you only get about 3,000 people.
“Now I want to make better memories, because we didn’t win the game.”
Indeed, neither the result or the performance where what the Pilgrims had come to expect following a run which saw them end the previous campaign unbeaten in 12 contests.
But on Saturday it was the Hatters who were celebrating at the final whistle as Joe Garvin’s 25-yard strike settled the contest.
“I should have done better, I should have saved the shot,” the keeper admitted.
“We deserved the minimum of a draw.”
Garvin’s winner - arriving 22 minutes from time - is not one Ravas will look back on fondly, but the whole day was one for Boston to put to the backs of their minds.
Minutes before kick off manager Dennis Greene was forced to change his formation as Zak Mills twinged his hamstring in the warm-up.
Midfielder Grant Roberts tucked in at right back, with Jack Friend brought in on the left wing.
Glen Rule headed County into a 35th-minute lead when the Pilgrims failed to clear a corner and Kayode Odejayi teed up a cross the Stockport man couldn’t miss from six yards.
United levelled after the interval when Dayle Southwell drilled home a 59th-minute strike from close range after keeper Danny Hurst had parried Scott Garner’s initial effort.
The game should have had more goals, but County’s Calum Dyson and Karl Ledsham both managed to fire off target from close range, the same fate befalling Pilgrim Mark Jones.
Carl Piergianni nodded Ledham’s effort off the goalline and Friend rattled the Stockport woodwork with a back-post strike.
At the death Boston looked to have snatched an equaliser, but a fine one-handed save from Hurst forced away Jay Rollins’ dipping effort.