What a difference a year makes.

This weekend, Owen Smith is set to pull on a Great Britain vest for the very first time as part of the host nation's 4x400m relay team at the World Indoor Championships.

But had it not been for a "couple of serious conversations" with his coach and parents Smith would not have had a shot at glory in Birmingham.

"Last year was a struggle," said Wrexham-born Smith. "The pressure of trying to reach the Commonwealth Games took its toll.

"I was in such good shape - probably better than I'm in now - and I was told I was good enough to hit Commonwealth Games qualifying times, but I went out and ran without thinking about what I was doing.

"I needed to enjoy athletics again."

Enjoying the thrill of competing seems to have been the catalyst for an upturn in fortunes for former Maes Garmon pupil Smith, who divides his time between athletics and working in sports therapy.

Aside from disqualification at the British Indoor Championships in Glasgow - for which Smith received an apology - the campaign is going to plan for the 23-year-old.

A time of 47.03 in Vienna in January ultimately secured his place on Team GB and he clinched fourth place in a high class field at the Glasgow Grand Prix last weekend, a race won by world number one Fred Kerley.

A simple mention of this weekend's championships leads to Smith declaring: "I cant' wait. I'm so excited to have a first taste of competing on the world stage.

"There were about 4,000 people in Glasgow last weekend and I couldn't hear myself breathe, so this weekend will be really special.

"A sell-out crowd in Birmingham is 8,000 and it will be deafening with everyone cheering for us as hosts.

"An atmosphere like that will spur us on."

Smith is part of a six-strong 4x400m relay team alongside Lee Thompson, Jamal Rhoden-Stevens, Grant Plenderleith, Sebastian Rodger and Efe Okoro.

With six athletes vying for four spots Smith is not guaranteed a spot in the team for Saturday's heat, but his season's best, bettered only by Thompson who will run in the individual 400m, suggests he is likely to take his place in the quartet.

"The relay coach Stephen Maguire called me after last weekend's race and he was quite complimentary," said Smith when asked his chances of making the cut.

"There are three guys on the team that I've never lost to, so I'm hopeful.

"But if I don't get picked for the heats for whatever reason, and sometimes the coach has a plan, then I will be cheering the lads on."

Regardless of who is selected to represent Team GB, Smith, who is likely to find out if he's going to run in Saturday afternoon's heat tomorrow, is optimistic of a medal shot.

"For all of us, except Seb, it's our first time in a GB vest," said Smith. "It's make or break when you get a chance on the big stage and I'm confident it will make us.

"We can put a marker down as a team and individually. It's a team game the relay, but if you do well individually then it benefits the team.

"It's a really special group we've got. We all get on really well and we will be bouncing off each other this weekend."

On an individual note, Smith, thrust into 400m running by a throwaway comment from mum, Tracy, when beaten in a 200m race in Deeside many moons ago, is relishing his second successive weekend of top class competition.

"Racing Fred Kerley was pretty cool," said Smith. "It was surreal to compete against him and then chat with him, but it's the level I want to be.

"I was nervous in the warm up, but I just thought 'he's only human'."

It's that kind of positive attitude which could help Smith and his team mates win a medal in Sunday's final at the expense of some big hitters, including USA, Trinidad and Belgium.