Of all the players to run out at St Mary’s tomorrow for the final game of the season few have had as turbulent, but ultimately triumphant, a season as Artur Boruc.
The 33-year-old keeper was without a club until Saints came calling for his services in September.
His signing was a surprise, given that manager Nigel Adkins had both Kelvin Davis and Paolo Gazzaniga at his disposal, and proved that he wasn’t afraid to use either of them.
However, he clearly hadn’t settled on a regular number one.
That didn’t change much in the immediate aftermath of Boruc’s arrival.
Boruc made it into the team relatively quickly but had a horrible start as Saints continued to leak goals in their depressing opening to the campaign.
Boruc’s debut, a 4-1 defeat to West Ham, certainly wasn’t one to remember.
Things went from bad to worse as Boruc was accused of throwing a water bottle at Saints fans after an exchange of words as things continued to spiral.
The club suspended him pending an investigation but, when he was cleared to play again, it took him some time to win his place back in the team.
At that stage it seemed as if Boruc, who had only signed a contract until the end of the season, would be one of those players who would be a footnote in Saints history, the kind of person who plays a handful of games and then disappears, that in years to come supporters have forgotten ever even played for the club.
But that was not to be Boruc’s fate.
Instead he got handed another chance and has taken it empathically.Since the turn of the year all that chopping and changing has disappeared and he is without doubt the club’s number one, and has done so well the club have handed him a new two year deal to extend his stay still further.
A look at the stats is proof as if any were needed that Boruc has done well as Saints have improved.
Davis conceded 19 goals in eight starts, Gazzaniga 12 goals in nine starts and Boruc 28 in 20 starts – with six of those in his first two games and then just 22 in his last 18.