Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor has told of his delight with life at the club after enjoying "the best 12 months" of his career in the North East.
The 27-year-old, who joined the Magpies in 2009 from Wigan Atheltic, played a key part in their fifth-place finish last season which secured European football for the first time since 2006.
And the Englishman couldn't hide his satisfaction with both his form and the success he has had in the past year, which saw him pen an extension to his current deal in March to keep him at the club until the summer of 2015.
He told the Shields Gazette: "It's been a great 12 months in my career. It's probably been the best 12 months I've had, on and off the field.
"My little boy's not far from being one year old now, so everything's going so well.
"I signed a new contract last season and played a lot of games. The last 12 months have probably been the best so far. It's been great."
Under Magpies boss Alan Pardew, Taylor has been deployed in both defence and midfield, earning a reputation as a utility player. But the former Tranmere Rovers man knows that a place in the starting XI may be harder to achieve with the 51-year-old reinforcing the squad for the upcoming season.
"I'm not going to get carried away and say I'll start this season and play every game," he added.
"Who knows? There are a few new lads coming in, and everyone's got to keep their head down and show the manager they want to play.
"I'm no different to any of the other lads."