IT'S been a pretty eventful season for young Wolves defender Mark Little.
It began as a 16-year-old schoolboy, turning out above his age-group for the Wolves Academy.
The finish, after the club's breathtaking FA Youth Cup run and Little's elevation to starring for the reserves team, including turning out for the second string at Old Trafford and being regularly mentioned in despatches by first team boss Glenn Hoddle.
A pretty rapid elevation, but one which the hugely promising right-back has taken very much in his stride.
With Little what you see is what you get.
Personable, softlyspoken and polite off the pitch. Single-minded, determined and neversaydie when he crosses that white line.
One of the next big hopes to come off the Academy conveyor belt, it's clear he is not prepared to get carried away with his undoubted promise.
"It has been an incredible season," admits Little, previously with Worcester City before being spotted by Wolves as a 14-year-old.
"From starting the season just playing for the Academy I was called in to play for the reserves at Sunderland in October. I couldn't believe I was travelling with them at that point and it took a while to sink in. Fortunately another Academy player Tom France was also starting as well so we stuck together!
"But once the game started the nerves disappeared and 'Jocky' Bjorklund, who has playing inside me at centre half, helped me through.
"It was certainly a shock to come up against senior players, who are obviously bigger and stronger than under-18s but also cleverer as well.
"I think I had a reasonable game, and with the likes of Jocky continuing to encourage me I've gradually settled in to the level of football.
"It's been good to test myself against some senior players, against Manchester City I came up against Bradley Wright-Phillips who I'd seen on the telly and was very quick.
"Against Liverpool Djimi Traore was coming back from injury and then recently at Manchester United I was up against David Bellion.
"It's all good experience, and if anyone had told me at the beginning of the season I'd be playing at Old Trafford I'd have said 'no chance', I wouldn't have believed it." Little, who admits he enjoyed watching Denis Irwin during his two Wolves seasons, has made 13 appearances for the reserves, and has certainly caught the eye with his pace, skill and marauding runs down the right.
He also played a big part as the Academy marched to the Youth Cup semi finals for the first time in 23 years, the run ending in tears on penalties after Wolves had stood just three minutes away from knocking out Southampton on a special night at Molineux.
"It was the best cup run, and great that we managed to get so far," says Little.
"We were so close and I think that if we'd have got past Southampton we'd have won the final against Ipswich.
"It was a big disappointment, but we had games to prepare for afterwards so we just had to get over it and quickly."
It is that sort of attitude which Academy director Chris Evans believes will stand Little in good stead as he bids to make a breakthrough over the coming years.
"Mark is from a solid family background, his parents are very supportive and he is very level headed," said Evans.
"He used to be a fairly quiet lad but the communication side of his game has really developed.
"The litmus test comes when you move up to work with senior players - you have to let them know you're around and that's not being bigheaded, it's giving them due respect.
"Mark has so many attributes and is mature enough to deal with that situation and this season he has been handed his chance and has taken it with both hands."