Zach Robinson's league debut for Wimbledon put his rapid rise from Sunday League football into perspective, but the 18-year-old striker is determined to continue his upward momentum.
A late cameo appearance at Oxford rewarded Zach for putting a difficult few months behind him after scoring in the EFL Trophy versus Brighton Under-21s (the picture above shows him scoring in that game). It certainly offered more encouragement to Zach, who was still playing Sunday League football at the age of 15 before he joined our academy.
"It was a moment that I've looked forward to for quite a long time," said Zach. "It didn't come in a win, but nevertheless it was a proud moment for me. This season has been kind of tough for me because I've been out with injuries and niggles here and there, but I've been working hard in training to get back, so that I can get fit again. It's good to know that if you work hard in training and do well then you will be rewarded with a chance.
"I had a lot of messages on Saturday, including from local people who know me. I seen comments on Twitter from people at Forest Hill, just saying they were proud to have someone from their local area playing professional football. I played for my local team Hillyfielders, then HF Sports, before I went to Lambeth Tigers in Honor Oak."
Zach, who had successful loan spells at Basingstoke Town and Leatherhead last season,is determined to keep working on his game after showing plenty of promise since stepping up to senior football.
"I like to think that I can bring quite a lot: I'm fairly quick so I can stretch the play if I need to, and I have good feet so I can look after the ball. I need to work on my aerial ability, attacking crosses, and things like that, but I'm doing that."
The young striker added that he's proud to play for this club after rising through the academy ranks - and the prospect of playing at Plough Lane would be another milestone moment for him.
"It's quite clear to see how much of a family club it is. From the get-go when I was shown around the club by Jeremy (former Academy Manager) I could tell what it meant to the fans. It was clear that it meant something different to play for this club.
"I'm looking forward to playing at Plough Lane. I haven't played there yet in a competitive game, but it's a good looking stadium and I look forward to playing at Plough Lane as an academy product. I want to be in the first-team squad more and hopefully I can take my opportunities when I get them."