Manly three-quarter Brayden Wiliame is glad he has endured the worst start to an NRL career of any player.
The 23-year-old had to wait four years and his 14th first grade game against Newcastle on Anzac Day before enjoying success after an inauspicious career start with Parramatta and the Sea Eagles.
"It was tough, I am not going to lie, it was tough on myself," he said.
"But I have a good base at home with my family and my partner. They make it a lot easier to get through those hard times. Now I know my confidence is definitely up.
"I am not where I want to be yet but I am heading in the right direction."
After his first win, things didn't get much better as Manly lost their next seven games.
But since then Wiliame has played a significant role in the club's late season finals charge, with Manly having won four straight.
And he looks back on his career beginning as an important test of character.
"Now I can say that start was of benefit but at the time it was tough to get through, especially reading about the things that were said about me," he said.
"But looking back at it now I am happy I went through that tough time so early.
"Now I know I can handle it if it does happen in the future and it will because football is full of ups and downs.
"All players go through it, I am glad I have gone through it now."