IT isn't how often you get knocked down, but how often you get back up.
Adam Sherratt has had his fair share of footballing disappointments since he moved to Newcastle four years ago.
The plan? To follow a path to Australian junior team selection and continue through to an A-League debut.
What happens from there is up to him.
It hasn't always gone according to that plan with the teenager having to drag himself off the canvas, dust himself off and go again on more than one occasion.
He's been overlooked not once - but twice - for the under-17 Australian Joeys, but that was offset after he signed a National Youth League contract with the Newcastle Jets in October.
"The coach said to me as long as when you get knocked down you make yourself bigger and better ... that's what a real footballer does," Sherratt said of his motivation to improve after missing selection with the national under-17 side.
"I used that as my motivation to get me where I am today because getting that setback from representing your country makes you work harder."
Two years ago, the teenager fell at the final hurdle for Joey's selection and when he received another call-up to re-trial in June this year he felt his time had come.
The belief was that Sherratt was too right-side dominant, so he returned to the training paddock and worked on becoming technically better with his left foot.
Unfortunately, selectors had other ideas and his name was again missing when they finalised the national side.
But when one door closes, another opens and a few months later he received news of his youth contract in Newcastle.
"Each year I kept ticking all the right boxes and when I got to 17 I thought if I put my head down and worked hard I could really get my contract and get my dream," he said.
"Three or four months later I was signing my first contract."
Sherratt's path to a potential A-League debut is taking a similar trajectory to that of former Port Saints teammate Angus Thurgate.
The coach said as long as when you get knocked down you make yourself bigger and better ... that's what a real footballer is.Adam Sherratt
A little over twelve months ago it was Thurgate who was training with the senior squad; now it's another Port Macquarie product's time to mix it with some of the best players in the country.
"It's been good with Angus to meet up with him and see him every day again and have a good chat about the good times back in Port," Sherratt said.
"But being there with the likes of Dimi (Petratos), (Nigel) Boogaard, (Nikolai Topor-Stanley) and (Steve) Ugarkovic, you get the most experienced players and they mentor you through to the next stage.
"They make sure you're well looked after, so being able to be in that professional environment is crazy."
Despite growing up as more accustomed to a central defender's role with Saints, Sherratt said Jets A-League coach Ernie Merrick had him playing a new role as right back in training sessions.
But he's happy to learn a new position.
"The main thing I've learned from training the last couple of months is that every session you're there you have to put in 100 percent," he said.
"You never know who's going to be watching or when your time is going to come."
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