Young Jamie Allen is desperate to step back into the first team picture at Fleetwood Town.
The teenager turned heads when he scored within minutes of his Football League debut.
But an injury setback and stiff competition for places have meant the forward – a product of Fleetwood’s youth system – has had to wait for another opportunity to prove himself.
But Allen, who has made two starts for Fleetwood this season – against Bristol Rovers and Bradford City – believes he is getting closer.
He said: “I got my chance, coming on at Northampton and scoring.
“I couldn’t have had a better debut.
“Then the gaffer showed faith in me and gave me a start, which I’m grateful for.
“Unfortunately I got injured. That knocked me back a few weeks and it was an awkward injury. It’s taken time to go away.
“Now I’m back I’m trying to get back into the first team, which I knew wasn’t going to be easy.
“But I’m getting closer and closer.”
In recent weeks, Allen has been part of Graham Alexander’s matchday squad – travelling with the team to Rotherham United and just missing out on a place on the bench for the visit of Chesterfield last Saturday.
It’s been encouraging for the 17-year-old.
He said: “I was in the squad for Rotherham but just missed out on the bench. It was the same on Saturday.
“I’m getting nearer to getting that opportunity again, which is great to know.”
And despite not getting time on the pitch, Allen insists every minute he spends with Fleetwood’s senior players is helping progress his career.
“It’s important being around the first team lads. I know I’ve missed out in the last couple of weeks.
“But the main thing is being around the first team, travelling with them and getting used to it.”
Allen knows he faces a tough challenge to get near the starting line up but he’s ready to take any chance he gets.
“Being at a club like this there are always going to be top players and they are all playing well at the moment, which makes it even more difficult,” he admitted.
“But that’s football . You’ve just got to keep training and do the best you can. You have to take your chance when it comes.”
And a summer shake-up at Highbury could benefit the youngster.
“Things will change over the summer. There are a lot of people out of contract,” he said.
“Of course I’ll be hoping it gives me my opportunity.”
In the meantime, Allen believes he is learning every day from playing with Fleetwood’s experienced stars – something he admits some days is “surreal”.
“I’m picking things up every day.” said Allen. “There are people here who have been around the game and know it so well.
“You’ve got Jon Parkin and Paul McKenna, really experiences professionals, and it’s great to be able to learn from them.
“I used to watch these players as a kid growing up. It’s surreal to be playing with them every day.” Allen’s strike at Northampton is a surefire contender for the club’s goal of the season award.
Allen joked: “To win the goal of the season would be amazing.
“I’m not really thinking about it. I’m sure there are a lot to choose from but it would be great.”