James Vaughan is still coming to terms with his turnaround in fortunes after cartilage damage nearly brought a premature end to his season.
The 20-year-old underwent surgery on his damaged cartilage in November and shocked many by making an early comeback in time for the FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United.
Manager David Moyes introduced the youngster for the final 18 minutes of extra-time on Sunday and Vaughan belied his years to confidently slot home his penalty to ensure a final showdown with Chelsea on May 30th.
The Toffees graduate, who has had horrendous luck with injuries since breaking into the first-team as a raw 16-year-old, hopes to put his problems of the past behind him and stake a case for a starting berth at the end of May.
"I hope it can be the start for me," he told The Sun. "I've had a terrible time with injuries and this season has been awful.
"There was a suggestion I might not play again this season so to come in and play in the semi-final my first game back is a great feeling.
"It's even better because I scored one of the penalties. I had never felt anything like this, the fans' emotion was just incredible.
"Now I want to use this as the start of something and to be involved against Chelsea would be an absolute dream for me."
Vaughan also revealed that he never had any doubts about taking a penalty in the shoot-out in front of the United end.
"I fancied a penalty," he continued. "I was more nervous watching the other lads take theirs."