When Matt Millar says he did it the hard way, you tend to believe him.

Working through the Melbourne City youth team, making four appearances only to lose his position and return to semi-professional football at South Melbourne is a stomach blow for any aspirant footballer.

"I did it the hard way," Millar said. "I was in the youth setup but had to take a step back, work really hard with South Melbourne. But I worked and earned the step up to this level.

"I don't want to give up my position, so I'm working as hard as I possibly can."

Two years, 18 goals and 69 NPL appearances later and now, despite his club struggling for results under new coach Mike Mulvey, he's understandably positive about the future.

"We feel really good, we've got a lot of belief in the team," he said. "We've just got to find that final 10% to get the win. 

"We're putting in some really good performances and playing a lot of confident, aggressive football.

No matter what happens this season at the Mariners, Millar is happy just where he is.

"A big thing is belief, we're training really hard. It's about doing the same things and getting rid of those little mistakes.

"It's a really competitive squad. It does nothing but wonders for the team. I've found a really good position at wingback, it allows me to really get up and down the pitch."