Justin Vidic did himself no harm of a recall after some impressive moments, including the only shot on target for the Newcastle Jets, in an "unexpected" A-League debut on Sunday.
The Jets lost 2-0 to Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium but 19-year-old Vidic showed plenty of promise with a strong 60-minute effort.
The western Sydney product was signed by Newcastle as a scholarship player from Marconi Stallions in NPL NSW.
He featured in pre-season outings and has been working hard at training since, waiting for his chance to come.
That moment arrived on Sunday when Vidic replaced Newcastle's leading scorer Apostolos Stamatelopoulos in the starting line-up.
Stamatelopoulos was ruled out due to a hamstring complaint which prevented him from training on Saturday.
"He's had some knee issues, which we just felt the hamstring might be the thing that sort of tips him over, so it was a late judgement call," Jets coach Rob Stanton said.
"For Justin Vidic, it was an opportunity. He found out late. He didn't have too much time to think about it. We just said, 'We're going to start you', so it was a nice little surprise."
Vidic was energetic, applying pressure high on the City back line and goalkeeper Jamie Young.
He played some deft flick-on passes in attack, was strong in the challenge and unleashed a blistering left-footed strike headed for the bottom left corner of City's net only to denied by a diving Young.
"It was a pretty good save," Vidic said.
"It was a decent chance and I thought it could have been [a goal] ... hopefully next time.
"It was a great experience. It's good to get my first game out of the way. Now, I've just got to keep working, put my head down and get as many games under my belt as I can and do as much as I can to help the team win."
Stanton expected Stamatelopoulos to return for Newcastle's away clash with Wellington on Saturday but would have no hesitation in calling on the Jets tyro again.
"I thought the moment came and he showed some maturity for such a young kid," Stanton said.
"I thought he used his body well, he got into some good positions. I think he's a real talent ... he'll be better for that, and I'm glad that I gave him his chance."