Wayne Hennessey tells Ged Scott about his dream 12 months.
Wayne Hennessey freely admits that tomorrow night's Wales versus Germany clash at the Millennium Stadium will be the "biggest game" of his life.
Which is quite an admission, given that young Hennessey made his Wolverhampton Wanderers debut in the white heat of a Molineux play-off local derby against West Bromwich Albion.
That was just four months ago and he has made rapid strides after the injuries suffered by the luckless Matt Murray which gave the young man from Anglesey his big chance.
Just a year ago, Hennessey says that any game would have done. Then the promising Welshman stood behind not just Murray but also Michael Oakes and Carl Ikeme in the queue for the Wolves goalkeeping jersey.
"This time last season I couldn't even get in the Wolves reserve team," said Hennessey. "I can remember moaning to my mates about when I was going to get a chance.
"I was always playing in the reserves when I wanted to be around the first team, so the way things have turned around is just a dream.
"I could never have believed things would be happening like this.
"A year ago I wasn't even on the bench for Wolves reserves sometimes. Now I am playing in the first team for my club and my country.
"It has all been a whirl, a tremendous feeling to have come this far in such a short space of time. Things have just got better and better.
"And although I'm delighted to be getting in at Wolves, I have to admit that Saturday will be the biggest game of my life."
Hennessey has already played opposite Chelsea's Petr Cech and Arsenal's Jens Lehmann should be in the opposite goal tomorrow night, but the keeper he most admires is a fellow North Walian, now 48 years of age and still getting his gloves dirty with Rhyl in the Welsh Premier League, Neville Southall.
"I've enjoyed meeting some really top keepers," said Hennessey. "I've already got Petr Cech's shirt signed. He gave it to me after my full debut earlier this year against the Czech Republic.
"We got a 0-0 draw and he came up and congratulated me after the game. It was nice that someone as experienced as him took the time to talk to me. And I will hope to get a souvenir signed by Jens Lehmann on Saturday.
"But Neville Southall is still my idol. I used to support Everton as a kid, but when he left I didn't support them any more. I just loved the way he played and wanted to be like him.
"He is Wales' most capped player and I hope one day I can beat his 92 caps. I've started pretty young so maybe I can get that far if I stay in the side."
Born in Beaumaris, six foot five inch Hennessey is already making a proud name for himself on the shut-out front.
He set a league record of nine games without conceding a goal while on loan at Stockport County last term, and has already made a huge impact since Wales boss John Toshack gave him his debut as a second-half substitute against New Zealand in May.
Then followed his shut-out against the Czechs before a man of the display in Bulgaria which, coupled with his new Wolves and Wales team-mate Freddy Eastwood's great strike, secured a 1-0 friendly win.
"My full debut against the Czechs was a fantastic feeling," he said. "Then I did OK in Bulgaria and now Germany will be even more difficult. They have a lot of tall players who will be a problem at set-pieces.
"I know I'll be worked hard, but we're on a roll, I haven't let a goal in yet in two and a half games and let's hope that continues."
Meanwhile, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy had mixed news from Tuesday's reserve team clash with Walsall at the Banks's Stadium.
Rob Edwards looks like being out until the end of October after suffering a knee injury just before half-time. "Rob has damaged his medial ligament which normally means four to six weeks recovery," said McCarthy.
But young right back Mark Little, out injured since turning his ankle in the warm-up before the final pre-season friendly at home to Reading a month ago, played almost a full 90 minutes.