Now that he’s had a taste of Hyundai A-League action, Melbourne City midfielder Ramy Najjarine wants more as his side face Newcastle Jets in Round 6.
In a case of one bright talent replacing another, Najjarine came on for Riley McGree with 15 minutes to spare in City's 2-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.
Debut aside, Najjarine was focused on City doing the job against a Newcastle Jets side brimming with confidence following their 2-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.
“A very proud moment for myself, I’d like to thank a lot of people that helped me along the way, and hopefully there’s much more to come,” Najjarine told Melbourne City’s website.
“I was very pumped up. It wasn’t the result we wanted, however I tried to change the game and hopefully we bounce back next week.
“I want to really do much more, I really think I can make an impact.
“Hopefully get back to winning ways and go for a title."
The 18-year-old from Sydney’s west may have even debuted earlier, were it not for a torn labrum and rotator cuff which put him on the sidelines for more than half a year.
One shoulder reconstruction later, and Najjarine is ready to kick on.
“Basically I was in the same situation this time as I was last year,” said Najjarine.
“I had a shoulder reconstruction which set me back, and I just tried my best [to get back to where I was] and I think I’m getting close.”
Teased with a taste of first team football, Najjarine needs little motivation to continue chasing that elusive starting spot.
Youngsters before him have paved the way, showing the up-and-coming crop what awaits if they work hard and take their opportunities.
“My belief in myself is probably the biggest reason why I’m back to where I was,” said Najjarine.
“That’s how a lot of young boys got their opportunity, they took it - Daniel Arzani and Nathaniel [Atkinson] - and I just thank the coaching staff for giving me the chance.”
De Laet: It is coming
At the other end of the age spectrum, Melbourne City defender Ritchie de Laet has called on fans to get behind the team.
The Belgian international told Melbourne City FC's website that despite last week producing a disappointing result, the performances have improved and things are ‘starting to click’.
“We need the fans out there, they really do help us when everyone’s getting tired in those last 20 minutes and you can hear the fans roar.
“So playing at home is going to be a big bonus for us.
“My message [to fans] would be: It is coming, it’s starting to click now.
“The result wasn’t what we wanted, but I think there were plenty of good performances out there and I think if we can keep those performances up, and put our chances away, we will go on a little run.
“Everything’s good. Even when we went 1-0 down, the boys were looking at each other in the changing rooms at half-time and felt we were well into the game,” said de Laet.
“We were passing it well, we had a couple of chances. Obviously disappointed coming off the pitch but you can’t dwell on that.”