From the Forest Green bench to full international honours – it has been quite a start to 2014 for Reece Styche.
The 24-year-old Rovers striker, currently on loan at Wycombe Wanderers, has been handed a shock call-up to the Gibraltar squad for friendlies against the Faroe Islands and Estonia next month.
Though born in Sutton Coldfield, he qualifies to represent the country through his grandmother and will jet off to Portugal to take part in the games.
A far cry from the situation at the turn of the year, when the former plumber found himself struggling for first-team opportunities after injury at the New Lawn.
Styche said: “It’s been an unbelievable start to 2014 for me – I didn’t see any of this coming.
“The loan move to Wycombe came out of the blue and has given me the chance to play in the Football League, which was always my ambition.
“But the chance to play full international football doesn’t come along for many players so I’m absolutely buzzing.”
Gibraltar were accepted as full Uefa members last year and have so far played just one game, a goalless draw against Slovakia.
They will take part in their first qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championships but are currently ineligible to take part in World Cup qualifying.
Styche is one of six English-based players to be named in the squad, with former Manchester United and Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham – now retired from club football – also included.
The call-up means Styche will miss Wycombe’s League Two match at Southend United on March 1, with both friendlies being played in Portugal while Gibraltar's national stadium is redeveloped.
But for now he is focused on opening his scoring account for his new club, having made the move on January 23 until the end of the season.
“I’ve started four games and came off the bench after 25 minutes in the last game against Fleetwood (on Tuesday night),” he said.
“Obviously I haven’t played a lot of football this season, so it’s good that the games have come thick and fast but it will take a bit more time until I’m 100 percent.
“Hopefully when I am I’ll be firing. It’s just getting that first goal, but everything is sound.
“The gaffer (Gareth Ainsworth) has brought me in to hold the ball up and bring other people into the game.
“It’s just getting that fitness now. The fitter I get the more hard working I’ll become.”