|Karl Brown was forced to remain patient for a regular run in Lancashire's first team after being awarded a professional contract in 2006. But, boy, it was worth the wait.
Having only played six County Championship and ten one-day matches prior to the start of the 2011 campaign, there would have been some doubts - maybe even from himself - whether he could make the grade.
However, after a playing in all 16 Championship matches and securing a place in the 40-over and Twenty20 sides as well in 2011, those doubts disappeared.
Not only is Brown a county champion - he finished with 888 four-day runs, including one hundred and two 90s - he has also earned a place on England's Performance Programme winter schedule for 2011/12.
And to top it all off, he was named as the club's Young Player of the Year at a glitzy bash at The Point.
Brown, born in Bolton, made his way through the club's scholarship and academy programmes before featuring for the England under 19s on their tour of Malaysia in the winter of 2006.
His first-team chance came in 2007 when he played in a 50-over Trophy match against Worcestershire at Old Trafford, making his Championship debut against Durham at the Riverside the following season.
Brown, whose medium pace bowling rarely gets an outing, has enjoyed spells playing grade cricket in Melbourne, while he also spent time at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide in 2009.
There was a strong indication that Brown, now aged 25, would start the 2011 summer in the Championship team when he scored 37 and 72 in the three-day friendly against Oxford University at the Parks.
But, having opened the batting in that clash, he was awarded the number three slot for the season opener against Sussex at Liverpool, in which he scored 114 off 236 balls to nail down his spot.
He also scored a fabulous 96 on a tricky pitch in a win over Hampshire at the Rose Bowl in late May, demonstrating that he can harness some eye-catching stroke-play with plenty of determination when required.
Brown's limited overs form was impressive too, with two fifties in eleven Twenty20 matches and 101 against Essex at Old Trafford in a 40-over match.
And it was against the white ball where Brown enjoyed most of his success in 2012 as well. The talented right-hander did not quite kick on as he would have hoped in the Championship, scoring only 594 runs from 25 innings, including three fifties (a best of 78).
But he was the third most successful batsman behind Steven Croft and Stephen Moore in 40-over cricket, posting 319 runs from 13 matches, including an excellent season-high 87 not out in the win against Essex at Chelmsford. He added 145 runs in eight Twenty20 matches.
Despite not hitting the heights of his 2011 Championship campaign, he ended 2012 on a high during the defeat against Middlesex at Lordís in the seasonís penultimate week. He scored the aforementioned 78 in the first innings and a swashbuckling 33 in the second as the Red Rose battled to avoid the drop during a steep last day run chase.
2013 was another mixed season for the right-hander, who only played ten Championship matches and scored three fifties. Although he started the campaign in the side and played some important innings, he was challenged to score big runs by Peter Moores.
His highest score of the season was an 87 in the second match of the season against Kent at Emirates Old Trafford, although his second-innings 80 against Essex at the same venue in May was instrumental to a tough, but successful, final day run chase.
He scored two half-centuries in each of the 40-over and Twenty20 competitions. But scoring big in four-day cricket is something that he will be aiming to do ahead of 2014.
(c) Lancashire County Cricket Club Ltd