And that can only mean one thing for the 19-year-old from Barking.
As he explained: "My dream next season is to play for the first team and it's up to me to do well in pre-season and if I get that chance, to take it."
The all-action defender/midfielder certainly went the right way about impressing the men that matter last season.
It started last pre-season with a decent performance in a friendly at Bournemouth, continued in the reserves - where he was captain - and his big moment arrived in the Tottenham Tribute Match against DC United in October.
Dean stormed up and down the right flank and was deservedly seen as man-of-the-match. Indeed, Teddy Sheringham was impressed enough to hand him the captain's armband when he departed after 50 minutes.
A successful loan spell at Swindon Town followed and having returned to skipper the reserves, he was knocking on the first team squad's door at the end of season before featuring in the return match against DC United in Washington in May.
He reflected: "It was a good season and I was pleased with how it went and now I've got to push on again next season.
"The DC game was my highlight. That was me first game in front of a big crowd at White Hart Lane.
"It was in aid of ex-players and I used it as an opportunity to show the gaffer what I could do.
"I was pleased to get in a couple of squads at the end of the season and it would have been nice to make the bench. That will be my target next season."
Nevertheless, as with his team-mates Lee Barnard (Exeter), Ronnie Henry (Southend), John Jackson (Colchester and Swindon) and Stephen Kelly (QPR), Dean will always remember 2002-03 as the season he made his Football League debut.
"I thought it went well at Swindon," he said. I was apprehensive going there at first, a bit nervous in my first training sessions but I got the first game out of the way and enjoyed it.
"It's something I'd look to do again but I want to push on, have a good pre-season and try to get into the squad."
That will start in pre-season again. "I played at Bournemouth last pre-season, played half the game in midfield with Jamie Redknapp and hopefully this season I'll get a few more games."
As for the reserves, he added: "I really enjoyed it under Colin. It was my first year with him and I enjoyed the way he coached. He was a great player here and encourages all the lads all the time."
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Dean Marney certainly made huge strides last season - he's looking to push on further next time around.