He could have stayed in his cushy English Championship comfort zone. But throughout his career Barry Douglas has never been one to take the easy option.
After playing 32 games for Blackburn Rovers last season, the full-back – who has already been promoted to the Premier League with Wolves and Leeds – had offers on the table.
His reputation for being one of the best dead-ball exponents and chance creators in the league was still very much intact.
But the Scot has never been content just to go through the motions.
When he left Dundee United at 23 he gambled by uprooting to join Polish side Lech Poznan.
It paid off in style when he won a title and Super Cup double with Lech in 2015.
From there it was on to Turkey and more silverware with Konyaspor two years later.
That earned him a move to Molineux, where Douglas announced himself in English football with his wicked deliveries and ridiculous assist stats.
But even now, at 31, the boy from Pollok in Glasgow isn’t happy unless he is challenging himself and pushing boundaries.
That’s why, when Lech launched a surprise bid to take him back to Poznan this summer, there was no hesitation.
There’s a reason why very few Scots go abroad to play. It takes a special kind of character and mental strength.
Thankfully for Douglas, his upbringing in a Glasgow housing scheme means that’s something he’s always had in his locker.
In fact, as he approaches the latter stages of his career, he has revealed that helping others cope with psychological pressure is something he wants to do when he finishes playing.
Douglas told MailSport : “One of my strongest characteristics is my mentality. I do a lot of work on that away from football that
people don’t see.
“It allows me to be the person I am and get over the hurdles that I’ve faced.
“Coming abroad again isn’t that daunting. It’s no different from going to Blackburn Rovers or Leeds United.
“The mental health thing had a big stigma attached to it before but it’s more public now.
“Some high-profile personalities are speaking about mental resilience, which I’m big on.
“I’m working with some performance psychologists.
“It’s not going to make you score 20 goals a season. But it allows you to deal with situations you never thought you would be able to deal with before.
“Any problem that’s in front of me now, I’m able to find a solution for it.
“In the future I’d like to help people with it. I’ve just invested in a performance psychology company.
“It’s just an interest right now because my full focus is on playing football.
“But it’s definitely an area where I’d like to help implement stuff for young people, whether it’s in football academies or schools.
“It’s really important.
“If I had the education I’ve got now, 10 years ago, who knows where I’d be?
“Small details can make a big difference, especially the way the world is now.
“It’s not just athletes and footballers dealing with it who have to cope. It’s everybody.
“Growing up in Pollok as I did, you either went one or two ways.
“It was a different upbringing and it made me streetwise from a very young age.
“That’s the foundation for your psychology.
“A lot of kids don’t get that now for a variety of reasons.
“That’s just the way this generation is now. It’s all about technology.
“When I grew up it was just about getting out with friends, playing football and getting up to a bit of mischief.
“But that allowed me to be as resilient as I am. I’m fortunate in that regard.
“A lot of credit has to go to my family for that.
“I grew up without my dad so my mum was my father figure too, along with my grandpa and my uncle. They kept me on the straight and narrow.”
Douglas’ career path has already taken him across Europe and he’s confident Poznan won’t be the end of the road.
He might not have hit the heights he reached at Wolves and Leeds at Ewood Park last term.
But his desire to be the best in any given league still burns brightly. And the fresh challenge at Lech is set to ignite that this season.
Douglas said: “I want to play every week and feel relied on. I did feel as if I’d lost that a little bit.
“That’s why I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself abroad again.
“This seemed like the perfect move, in that sense. And, listen, I’ve always had belief in my ability.
“Even last season at Blackburn, if you analyse it, all the outputs were there.
“I was still one of the highest chance creators for a full-back in the league.
“I had a successful season but the narrative wasn’t as good purely because the team didn’t do so well.
“But the hunger and motivation within me is still there. I know I can still produce.
“I just needed the opportunity to put those kinds of demands on myself again.
“That’s why I wanted to move on from England again.
“I kind of felt comfortable in the UK – and I don’t want that.
“I want to challenge for honours again and to get into that winning habit again because it’s so contagious.
“I’d love to try and help the team here win something. But I just want to play injury free.
“At Leeds I kept breaking down, maybe because of the rigorous regime there.
“But I got over a mental hurdle last year by playing in every game when I was available to play.
“Physically, I feel good and ready for this.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and when you get it you have to experience it. You might never get it again.
“I’m going to embrace it once more, especially in the current climate.
“A lot of my friends in football, who are better players than me, are out of contract and struggling to find what they were hoping for.
“The fact I’m at a club that wants me and is stable, that’s a big positive.”
Douglas reckons he’ll actually get to spend more time with his family in Poznan than he would have done in England – which was another factor in his decision to return to Lech.
He said: “My boy is growing up fast so it was about having an adventure with my family.
“When you play every few days in England, you don’t get a lot of time with them.
“The Championship is relentless, playing every two or three days.
“So it was the right time to look at another opportunity.
“It helps that I’ve had success here before.
“A little stumbling block in my mind was: ‘Is it wise to go back?’
“Especially after the monumental success we enjoyed last time during my three years in Poland.
“It’s always hard to replicate that with the expectation of the Lech fans. Because to them, second isn’t good enough.
“I had to analyse everything but I just felt it’s a different challenge and project now.
“And I want to be part of it again.”