Middlesbrough's latest midfield prospect Richie Smallwood has told skysports.com how determined he is to win a first-team place.
The 20-year-old central midfielder has made the breakthrough under Tony Mowbray this term.
He has featured seven times since the New Year, including four starts in the league.
The Teessider is now hoping he can push on and become a regular under Mowbray after serving his apprenticeship with the club's reserves.
"Working with Steve Agnew has helped me massively this season, he made me captain of the reserve team and challenged me to make the step up to the first team," Smallwood explained to skysports.com.
"Mark Proctor, Mark Venus and the gaffer are great to work for, training is fantastic and the senior players help by making the young lads feel welcome and it's a massive help that there are so many academy graduates in the first-team squad already."
With Boro just about safe in the Championship, he hopes he will get more chances to press home his claims ahead of next season.
"There are five games left this season and if the gaffer picks me then I am 100 per cent ready to play and to give everything for the team.
"I have learnt so much since my debut, it's been a huge learning curve but you only learn by playing games, I know that I've got so much more to learn so I just want to work hard to improve and if I get the chance to play then I have to take it.
"I am a Teesside lad and a Middlesbrough fan so this is so much more than a job for me, this is a dream come true.
"There is no better feeling than playing for your home town club, I am proud to wear the famous Boro shirt and to have the opportunity that thousands of fans dream of."