The midfielder played 70 minutes of the reserves' goalless draw against Wimbledon at Stevenage Borough FC - his first game since knee surgery in August.
"I'd love to go straight back in but I know I need to play a few reserve team games yet," he said afterwards. "Then I'll be looking to get back into first team contention."
It was a testing return for the 23-year-old with a typically competitive Wimbledon midfield snapping around his ankles.
But he looked to get on the ball as often as possible and a couple of crunching tackles from the Dons certainly tested his knee.
"I know I can play better but you want it to click together straight away," he reflected. "I've been out for three months though and that's not going to happen.
"I just need to get my sharpness and match fitness back. I was reasonably pleased and I'm just glad to be back in there. I was quite excited about playing again.
"There were a couple of tackles I might of gone in for that I held back from a little but for the time being I don't need to fly into things, it's just about getting strong again.
"It's just a matter of getting my confidence back not with the ball but with my body and movement.
"Hopefully it will all click together in the next few reserve games and I'll be back to normal."
So after the battle to regain fitness 'Clem' faces another challenge - getting his place back in the first team.
He added: "The lads are doing great and it will be difficult to get back in there.
"I'll get fit first and then concentrate on that. It will be a challenge but first thing's first and that's to get my fitness back."
You could sense Stephen Clemence's hunger for first team football after his successful return to action last night.