Everton striker James Vaughan admits that next season will be a make-or-break year for his toffees career.
Vaughan has endured a nightmare time with injuries since he broke onto the scene as the Premier League's youngest ever goalscorer when he netted on his debut in 2005.
The speedy forward has started just 10 games for Everton since then as boss David Moyes has preferred to use makeshift strikers Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini at times this season.
But at the age of 20, and with just two years remaining on his existing contract, Vaughan recognises that next season is his chance to prove that he is worthy of a place in the side, and a new deal.
"I've missed a lot of football, so pre-season is going to be massive for me," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"God willing, I'll stay fit and try and get my place in the first team.
"I haven't produced what I know I am capable of and just want a run of games to prove that I can do it. I'm hoping I will be able to do a lot of good things for Everton.
"I'll keep ticking over (in terms of fitness) but they want me to rest as much as I can so I am right for pre-season. I feel as if I'm over the injuries and am much stronger for it."
Everton have just come off the back of FA Cup final heartbreak at the hands of Chelsea as Louis Saha's opener was overturned through strikes from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.
Vaughan, a late substitute in the game, admits that although the squad are disappointed, they will use the experience as motivation to succeed further in the future.
"There is a sense of disappointment at the minute but I'm sure the lads will use this as motivation when we come back next year, our expectations will be even more next year," he said.
"It was horrible. I'm sure in time we will look back and see what a wonderful achievement it was to get to the final but we were just so gutted that we didn't win the game.
"The belief we have in ourselves in the changing room is massive but you never know - this might be a starting point for us."