Dean Marney admits that the events of this season have been more than he could have hoped for at the start of the campaign.
It's been a great year for the 19-year-old full-back who has progressed from last season's Under-19s to being reserve team captain, featuring in two first team squads, playing in the prestigious Tottenham Tribute friendly in October and the return against DC United last week and enjoying a two-month loan spell with Swindon Town.
"My aim at the start of the season was to try and get a regular place in the reserves, so everything that has happened is certainly more than I had expected," says the Barking-born lad.
"I've really enjoyed it. Obviously being captain of the reserves is great for me and has helped me a lot."
Dean was given the armband for Colin Calderwood's side after impressing in that DC United friendly, when he lined up alongside some of our legends such as Jurgen Klinsmann, Paul Gascoigne and David Ginola at White Hart Lane, his first taste of the big match atmosphere.
"That was a great night, I thoroughly enjoyed it," he says. "It was a good opportunity for me in front of the fans and, of course, the gaffer. Although the night was all about our ex-players, it was an important match for me and I had to use it as a way of trying to impress."
He certainly seemed to achieve that and his reward was the captaincy for our second string.
"I was made captain for our next reserve match and thought that maybe it would be for just one game, so I was delighted when I kept the job. Then, when I went on loan, I thought that would be it, but I was really chuffed to get the armband back when I returned."
On numerous occasions this season, that captain's role has meant Dean being in charge of some of our international players who have played for the reserves at various times and during one game, we had no fewer than eight internationals on show.
"I remember that, it was against Leicester here at the Lane," says Dean. "I didn't think about until afterwards when I read it in the programme. It's quite something, but you can't let things like that affect you, I just got on with my normal game."
Dean has only recently returned to us following a two-month loan spell with Swindon, during which he nine appearances in Division Two. They lost just twice in that time and he was involved in an impressive victory over runaway leaders Wigan Athletic and a draw at high-flying Cardiff City.
"It's quite a big difference from the reserves. Obviously we want to win in the reserves, but a lot of it is about development, whereas in the league with Swindon, it was all about winning matches," he says.
"I enjoyed it there though, I think the manager Andy King was pleased with my contribution. It was tough against the likes of Wigan and Cardiff, big strong teams who play football as well, but I feel it helped me to improve and I feel stronger for the experience."
With our reserves campaign now over, following a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at Barnet, Dean already has one eye on next season and further progression in his development.
"Basically I have to do better than I've done this season," he explains. "Pre-season is important for me, I need to come back and do well, maybe feature in some of the friendlies and then look to try and make more first team squads."