He's only 18 and has played a bit-part in Sydney FC's A-League campaign to date, but striker George Blackwood is on the cusp of greater opportunities in the senior squad.
Blackwood has made six appearances in 12 rounds this A-League season, already double his involvement in last season's run to the grand final, when he played mostly for the youth side.
On Saturday the APIA Leichhardt product made his biggest mark yet, starting and playing 80 minutes of Sydney's 4-1 mauling of Central Coast after being called up in the absence of fellow frontmen Shane Smeltz (groin) and Filip Holosko (suspension).
And though that may normally have been a one-off, circumstances may dictate that Blackwood gets a second starting shot sooner than he thinks.
Coach Graham Arnold's attacking stocks could be significantly drained when the Sky Blues face Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Saturday.
While Smeltz and Holosko will likely return, skipper Alex Brosque is in doubt after re-injuring his hamstring, while Matt Simon was cited by the A-League's match review panel on Tuesday and faces a ban in the region of one to two matches.
With young forward Andrew Hoole set to be away with the Olyroos for most of January, there is space for Blackwood to gain more valuable game time.
"I just want to keep working hard in training and keep putting my best foot forward," Blackwood said.
"I'm just trying to help the team do well and get the right results, so any way I can do that is a good thing.
"Minutes under my belt are only going to help me, especially at a great club like this."
Blackwood said his confidence grew throughout the Mariners match, and now he's just keen to continue working hard to return the favour after his coach took a chance on him.
"Arnie told me (after the match) not to dribble as much, but apart from that he just said I did well," Blackwood said.
"He said, 'Just keep working hard and your chances will come'.
"It means a lot. Arnie's really good with us young players ... you can tell how much confidence the coach instills in the youth players by the way they play."