A recent transfer to the Barclays Premier League, international recognition and a chance to play a pivotal role in Scotland's World Cup qualifying campaign all seem like the prosaic conclusions to a shaggy-dog story about a player regarded as one of the country's most proficient talents, but the narrative that has led him here had risked being cut short.
His abilities having outgrown youth football, a teenage Snodgrass graduated to become the headline act of a Livingston side which would come to include such alumni as James McPake, Leigh Griffiths and Graham Dorrans; the latter joining him in the squad to face Serbia and Macedonia in the coming days. His routine became subtle trickery and impertinent goading of opponents, the ripples made by his outings in West Lothian reaching as far as Blackburn Rovers and Barcelona, the Catalan club keen to take the midfielder on trial to try him out on a bigger stage. His reluctance was seen as a squandered opportunity and a harsher spotlight threatened to expose "Snoddy" as just another daft wee laddie fae Glasgow.
That his contributions are now heralded by Scotland supporters and Norwich City fans – Snodgrass scored his first goal for the club in the last minute of a draw with Tottenham Hotspur last weekend – owe largely to a short spell in a more modest environment. Heckled by critics, the callow Livingston youngster was then huckled out on loan to Stirling Albion by John Robertson, a manager with whom his attitude seemed to jar. He teamed up with another in Allan Moore and his relationship with the former Stirling head coach continues to blossom.
The initial dynamic between the pair was one typical of a coach and his player, but it has since become more colloquial. "I was texting Snoddy on Saturday night after he scored his first Premiership goal. He did a friend of mine's coupon [with the equaliser against Tottenham]. I let him know but he just texted me back saying he shouldn't have bet against him," said Moore, now manager at Morton.
Moore was not guilty of that at Stirling; recognising the potential of his new arrival but also the unwittingly wayward individual who was yet to fulfil it. His tone is now affectionate and does little to disguise a pride in the player the 24-year-old has since become, but he was also demanding while at Stirling and unwilling to let Snodgrass lower his standards in the second division.
"He managed to get me promotion; in the play-off against Airdrie United he got us two goals," said Moore. "That was after me giving him a bit of stick after the first game – I said 'you should be doing better than that' and he said 'don't worry, gaffer, I'll do better in the next game and get you through' . . . he was true to his word.
"He came to Stirling Albion and knuckled down. I think he got a wee wake-up call as we were only part-time and he saw what the boys had to do during the day. But all the credit has to go to him. People do look back and think he was troubled, but I can't say that; I think he is a great guy. I got on really well with him and I think the fact that we clicked right away meant that I could get the best out of him. I think he got labelled as a wonder kid and was talked about for Scotland early doors and that affected him a wee bit as well.
"I have nothing but praise for him and he has always kept in contact. When he phones, he is always praising me for turning his career around but I tell him that wasn't me, that was him. As I keep telling my players: managers or clubs don't get you moves, it's down to what you do on the pitch. Snoddy got his move because of how he played."
He would decamp to Leeds United a year after being returned to Livingston. That time spent at Stirling helped Snodgrass to relaunch his career but part of him was still rooted there.
A series of impressive displays at Elland Road led to him receiving the captain's armband, and the authority that entails, and he seeked to use that influence to shuttle promising players from the English club north to recompense Moore for guiding him through a difficult period in his career.
"He phoned to ask my advice about going to England or staying in Scotland," said Moore. "He has a lot of pals up here but I told him they can always visit him down there and to do it; I think getting away from the environment he was in up here helped and I think some of his friends maybe influenced him to go out on the randan with them sometimes. But he has worked hard and is getting the rewards for it."