Aberdeen attacker Niall McGinn experienced the highs of the Euro 2016 finals and is targeting a repeat next summer.
McGinn is part of a Northern Ireland squad that will face Bosnia and Herzegovina in a play-off semi-final at the Bilino Polje stadium in Zenica on Thursday.
Reward for the victors is a home game in the final against the winners of the other semi, between the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia, on November 12.
Four years ago McGinn was a key player in the Northern Ireland squad that qualified for the Euro finals for the first time.
Not only did that squad end Northern Ireland’s 30-year absence from the finals of a major tournament, they also progressed to the last-16, where they lost 1-0 to Wales.
McGinn netted the second goal in a 2-0 Group D defeat of Ukraine that would seal a passage to the knockout phase.
With qualification just two wins away, McGinn aims to grab this opportunity.
He said: “Playing Bosnia and Herzegovina is an opportunity to get a step closer to a major international tournament and that’s where we all want to be playing.
“I have been there and the majority of our squad have been there. We know how good it is and we want to get back to another one.”
Northern Ireland faced Bosnia and Herzegovina home and away in the Uefa Nations League in 2018 and lost both games – 2-1 in Belfast and 2-0 away from home.
It was a disastrous Nations League campaign for Northern Ireland as they lost all four games to finish rock bottom of a group that also included Austria.
McGinn said: “Having the experience of qualifying for the Euros before will help us.
“That will be important over in Bosnia. We have played them at home and away before, they are a good side.
“I missed the away game and played in the one in Belfast.
“Both times the performances have been very positive, although the results were not great.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina boast quality such as former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, who is now at Roma.
Dzeko, 34, is his country’s all-time top scorer with 59 goals in 109 appearances.
Miralem Pjanic transferred to Barcelona in a €60 million deal this summer, having won four Serie A titles with Italian giants Juventus.
Alongside Pjanic in midfield is Rade Krunic of Milan.
McGinn is confident Northern Ireland can upset the odds.
He said: “You have to look at the quality of the players they have, like Edin Djeko, Rade Krunic and Miralem Pjanic – all guys playing for massive clubs.
“But we are always confident, it’s a one-off game and the incentive for us if we get through is a tie in Belfast.
“We know if we can get through and play at home, whether it’s against Slovakia or the Republic of Ireland, then we’ll give ourselves a chance.”
Thursday’s play-off semi-final with Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first of a congested triple-header. Following the trip to Zenica, they face Austria in a Nations League Group E match at Windsor Park on Sunday.
Then, on Wednesday, they play Norway away in the Nations League. Last month Northern Ireland suffered a heavy 5-1 Nations League loss to Norway in Belfast, with in-form Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland netting a double.
McGinn said: “We have a tough 10 days, but the first game is the most important with the semi-final out in Bosnia.
“If we can get a win in the first game that will set us up for the rest of the matches we have over the next couple of weeks.
“More of the lads are up to speed now compared to the last international break and hopefully that will benefit us.
“Last time, it came at a time when a lot of the players hadn’t played – very few had games under their belt. Most people had just been training, so we will improve from there.
“This time we are a month on, everyone has been playing for their clubs and you’ll see a big step forward from everyone.”