If sportspeople are to be defined not by their mistakes, but instead how they respond to them, Tim Payne is well on the way to redemption.
The Wellington Phoenix defender was involved in much-publicised incident in March, breaking quarantine in Australia and driving a golf cart several kilometres from the team base before eventually being pulled over by police. Payne was fined A$700 after pleading guilty to drink-driving and both he and passenger Oli Sail were suspended for four A-League games .
Speaking from the Phoenix's current quarantine facility just outside Sydney where they're preparing for the season's resumption, Payne was only looking forward.
"I made my bed so I've got to sleep in it," Payne said.
"It's hard to know that a stupid decision has led to this, but they were my actions that put me in the situation I'm in.
"It's been a difficult time, but I've taken full responsibility for what's occurred and tried to react in the most positive way. That means working incredibly hard on the football pitch, doing everything properly away from the pitch and just trying to help out as much as possible.
"It's been tough, but the only way to react is positively; to not worry so much about my mistakes but try to learn from them and become better for them.
"You're not judged on mistakes, but more on how you react to them and move forward from them. Hopefully I'll look back on this in a little while and know I've overcome something difficult and I can be a better person for it," said Payne.
Until the season was called to a Covid-enforced halt, Payne had been a revelation for the Phoenix. Replacing an injured Louis Fenton at right back for the round five outing against Melbourne Victory, he became a fixture in the team, missing just one game through suspension. The Phoenix lost just twice in the 15 matches Payne played.
Already known as a committed and robust defender, Payne also contributed noticeably on attack, frequently raiding down the right to set up goal-scoring opportunities. His three assists were the most by any Phoenix defender, including fellow full back Liberato Cacace.
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"I was happy with the way I was going but there's still a lot of room for improvement," Payne said.
"I think playing at right back suits me. While I've played a lot of football in midfield, I find it a lot more enjoyable when everything is in front of me.
"Defending is a strong part of my game. I just stuck to the basics as much as I could and as the season progressed I tried to get involved going forward a lot more and doing my best to keep up with Libby who was killing it on the left-hand side."
The Phoenix will complete the 2019-20 season in Australia, ending their mandatory two-week isolation period on Friday and resuming the season a fortnight later. They'll play their remaining six regular season matches in a 24-day period before a week-long, six-team finals series which they look certain to be involved in if they can replicate their performances so far this season. The Phoenix are currently third, just four points behind second-placed Melbourne City with three games in hand.
Payne's ban means he'll miss games against Sydney FC, Perth, Adelaide and Western Sydney before being eligible to play in the final two regular season matches against Brisbane and Newcastle and the finals series.
"I'm incredibly motivated to contribute whatever I can to the team. Whether I'm playing or not playing, that doesn't matter to me. I just have to keep doing all the right things and helping out the boys who will be playing as much as possible.
"If the last little while has taught me anything it's that you have to take your chances and appreciate the position you're in.
"Once my suspension is over, I'll make sure I'm as fit as possible and if I get the nod, I'm ready to go."