The young goalkeeper came of age in our tour of South Africa last summer with fine displays against Orlando Pirates and Kaiser Chiefs.
That paved the way for him to take his place on the bench as cover for Kasey Keller when Neil Sullivan departed for Chelsea in August.
He stayed there until shoulder and knee injuries wrecked the second half of his season and Lars Hirschfeld took over on the bench.
"I played a lot last pre-season and that was good for me," reflected Rob. "It was important to do well.
"It was a bit surreal. It didn't feel like I was playing at the time because I didn't really have time to think about it, I was chucked in at the last minute.
"With that in mind, I didn't have time to think that it was my first time in the first team. I didn't really have time for nerves. I thought it went well in the end.
"Obviously it did me a lot of good and it was a great experience to be on the bench for so much of the season."
Rob Burch describes his experiences of last pre-season as 'a bit surreal'.