Scott McKenna is fast running out of things to tick off his bucket list.
In the last six months he has become an Aberdeen regular, signed two long-term contracts and made his Scotland debut in front of his family at Hampden.
The memories have been coming so regularly he is running out of ideas as to what is next.
He said: “I don’t think there’s much more I can do this season.
“Keeping my head down and doing well on the pitch is my main focus.
“It’s been one thing after another this season – to get the squad call-up was unexpected.
“I knew I’d been playing well there were boys doing it more consistently over a lot more games.
“For that chance to come along and to start, with all my family down to watch, was amazing.”
The 21-year-old’s performance was arguably the highlight of what was otherwise a tepid Scotland performance. He was praised by Scotland manager Alex McLeish for delivering an intelligent performance on his big night and barely put a foot wrong against an accomplished street-wise Costa Rica outfit.
A different role awaited him than he is used to at Aberdeen, tasked with being the left centre back of a back three, rather than playing in the middle of a back four.
McKenna was given greater freedom to stride forward and be the more offensive-minded of the centre backs, a task he took to well.
McKenna said: “I got forward a bit more (in a back three) tonight but at Aberdeen we try to keep the two centre halves against the one striker.
“Charlie Mulgrew and Grant Hanley dealt with the one striker and it allowed me to get forward a bit more.
“It was all about getting the ball to Andy Robertson higher up the pitch – he was very effective.
“Charlie talked to me all game and Andy, playing at a very high level, was speaking to me as well, so it was easy enough.”
Of all the debutants McKenna looked the most assured, dealing with the physical aspect of the game well and making a few timely interceptions in the opening 15 minutes.
A debut for the Kirriemuir-born defender had been mooted before the game and McLeish rewarded the former under-21 captain’s form, which has seen his club boss Derek McInnes label him the best centre back in the country.
There are more than a few parallels between McKenna and McLeish, given the latter – also a centre back at Aberdeen during his playing days – also made his international debut as a 21-year-old.
McKenna said: “There’s a lot of history with the manager and Aberdeen. He was successful there and someone told me he made his Scotland debut at the same age as me. Hopefully I can learn a few things off him and come back a better player.
“In between drills, he’ll come over and make a point or wee things that can help out. I just want to take them to my game at Aberdeen and help with my game.”
Getting an opportunity is all McKenna has needed. He seized the chance to play regularly last season by going out on loan to Ayr United and could have ended up back in the Championship this season, with a move to Livingston. However Aberdeen boss McInnes has had faith in him and he has been a mainstay in the Dons’ backline.
McKenna’s persistence and performances have paved the way for him to go from the nearly man to being a full Scotland inter-national.
He said: “I said when I got my Aberdeen debut at Motherwell, I’d been waiting long enough for a chance. It was more about excitement than anything else.
“Ever since I’ve tried to take everything in my stride and I think I did that on Friday. There was a few nerves because you’ve never been in that situation before but I thought I coped reasonably well.
“It was all about getting a chance – a lot of us got a chance at the same time and did reasonably well. It’s up to us to keep it going and hopefully centre back won’t be a problem going forward.
“If someone told me at the start of the season I’d have a cap I wouldn’t have believed you.
“I wasn’t in the under-21s and I wasn’t playing for Aberdeen. It just shows how quickly things can change.”