Nathan Redmond has outlined his determination to nail down a regular place in the Birmingham City side.
And the teenage winger insisted that he was approaching the coming season with no fear.
Redmond announced himself to the football world with some exhilarating performances in 2011-12, not least during Blues Europa League campaign.
No longer a surprise package, he will now have to cope with increased expectation levels and more knowing opponents – which doesn’t bother him in the slightest.
“It’s been quite a sharp and fast last 12 months,” he reflected at Blues hotel in Austria, where they are on tour.
“In that time I have grown up quite a lot in my every day life.
“I am enjoying it, it’s stepping stones in my career.
“I feel like this year I am really part of the squad.
“Last year I was in and out. The gaffer did assure me that I was part of it, but this year I feel as if I have got a place to try and gain in the team and really make it mine.
“I’m still clutching on to the 18 years that I have got, and I will keep the banter going with the lads.
“But I feel as if I am maturing as a player and person.”
Redmond made 16 starts last season – six in the Championship – and was used as a substitute on 21 occasions.
He scored seven goals, the most memorable one a fizzing low shot against CD Nacional that started the Europa League adventure in earnest.
“There’s going to be pressure and more teams know me, but I will be ready for all of that,” he said. “I don’t think it will be a problem for me.
“You can never be great every single game. That’s always how it’s been.
“I remember when Ronaldo scored 40 goals in one season and everyone expected him to do the same the next season - it’s impossible. All I can do is keep impressing the gaffer and keep learning. That’s the most important thing.
“The more I keep learning, the more I experience I gain as a professional, the more that will help.”
Redmond continued: “I’ve got Chris Burke here who gives me a lot of advice when we are playing.
“And Stephen Carr, too, who has come up against the top wingers in the world. He is always giving me pointers.
“Even if other teams are now more aware of me, it’s just about me adapting my game to that and doing what I am good at.
“If I do manage to play well and be consistent then that will be a credit to the staff and players around me.”
Redmond flew out with Blues to the Tirol two days after returning from England international duty in Estonia.
He helped the under-19s reach the semi-finals of the European Championship, another useful experience in his development.
Redmond said that stints with his country also helped him manage expectation.
“It’s the same with England in that nothing ever changes. I’ve been there with them since I was 15, I am doing the same stuff now I was then through the age groups.
“It just carries on as you go through and that will be the same at Birmingham.
“I just need to keep doing my natural stuff, keep progressing and hopefully I will learn new things on the way and improve.”
Manager Lee Clark , meanwhile, has told of his delight at Blues new signings.
Peter Lovenkrands, Darren Ambrose, Hayden Mullins and David Lucas have all been added to the squad.
And Clark said it was about the quality and character of the personnel.
“We’ve got to follow the line that not only are they quality players who could enhance the squad, but they have the right character and work ethic too.
“The togetherness and that work ethic is so important and I’ve been unbelievably impressed with what I’ve seen from the players so far.
“Anyone who comes here has to buy into that mentality, we have to continue that feeling there was in the dressing room last season.
“The lads have joined us because of our ambition, their ambition, what we want to do and the size of the club. All of them have a great desire and determination to do well and have bought into that ethos we have to have. They wanted to be part of Birmingham City.”