Scarborough’s Flynn McNaughton is hoping to kick on after making his first appearance for York City at the weekend.
McNaughton, 17, came off the bench and helped the Minstermen battle back for a 1-1 draw against Chorley, and the forward is now aiming to impress boss Martin Gray in order to get a full-time contract.
Flynn, who is the son of former Scarborough FC defender Michael McNaughton, said: “I’d played in North Riding Cup matches before in front of a few hundred people, but this was a much better atmosphere and the noise of the crowd really gives you a buzz and makes you want to perform for them, it was surreal really.
“It felt really good to come on and was nerve-racking at the time, but once I got out there I felt quite comfortable and the fans really got behind me which helped a lot, it was a proud moment.”
City boss Martin Gray was full of praise for the former Seamer and Scarborough Athletic youngster, singling him out for praise afterwards.
“For a 17-year-old youth-team player who hasn’t always played every game for the reserves, he looked after the ball well,” said Gray.
“He was very intelligent and moved ever so well with his runs down the channels.
“He’s also got pace and I remember seeing him and Ryan Edmondson when I first came here and thinking they both looked a real handful.
“He’s another one to come through the youth system and, while he’s still got a lot of work to do, he came on in front of 2,800 people, which he has never done in his life, and conducted himself very well.”
On those words of praise from his manager, McNaughton added: “It’s nice to hear him acknowledge my performance after the game and give me some praise, that will only give me even more confidence if I get out on the pitch for him again.”
Former Boro fans’ favourite Michael McNaughton expressed his pride, saying: “He deserves his chance, he’s worked really hard to improve his game and this season that has paid dividends with his performances and goals.”
While he’s focused on impressing at City and earning a contract, the teenage forward admitted he’d love to turn out for his hometown club and follow in his dad’s footsteps.
“I’m just focusing on earning a pro contract for next season at the moment,” added McNaughton.
“Whether that comes and I’m part of the manager’s plans or not, I would definitely be interested in a loan move as I just want to play football really.
“I would obviously love to turn out for my hometown team at some point in my career.”
For now though, the forward is keen to impress at Bootham Crescent.
He added: “Obviously there’s a few injuries to strikers at the moment, which is one of the reasons I got my chance.
“But if the gaffer wants me to play a part in the run-in I’ll be prepared for that, we’re pushing and trying to get points every week which will be important come the end of the season.
“Players should be returning soon from injury but if I get a chance I’ll give it my all and try to show the manager that I deserve to stay in the team.”