Two years ago, Dan Neil thought his career was over.
Now, 16, the first-year scholar is enjoying a breakthrough season with the under-23s and he has even had a sniff of first-team action.
After being struck down with a potentially career ending knee injury, Neil recalls stamping his foot against the turf as he looked to knock the pain, he was experiencing during an under-14 tournament in Warwick, out.
Surgery followed in London and so to did a lengthy 18-month spell on the sidelines, with a career in football looking unlikely.
“The injury came at a bad time for me,” Neil reflected.
“I had just been playing for England against the USA, got my scholarship and I was on a real rise before the injury hit.”
However, progress has been sweet and Neil is back playing the sport he craves, taking each day as a blessing as he looks to make up for lost time perusing a dream that at one stage, he looked unlikely to fulfil.
“Everyone has to deal with adversity and comeback, and I think I’ve managed to do that.
“Each time I step onto the grass now I am just grateful because at one point it might not have happened.
“I didn’t expect to have achieved what I have done at all this season because my aim was just to get into the under-23s at the end of the season.
“Getting a sniff at Morecambe of the first team was great. Like I said, the first-team have been great, it makes you work harder and it makes you want it even more.
“Elliott (Dickman) has been the same and given me a number of chances to play in the under-23s and hopefully I can kick on to the first-team.”