Ross County left-back Josh Reid insists he has already reset his goals for the season following his breakthrough to the Staggies first team.
Reid was rewarded with improved terms on his contract earlier this week, after hitting a milestone which the Staggies had set out for him before the campaign.
The 18-year-old has made 14 appearances since being handed his senior debut in the opening day 1-0 win over Motherwell, which he says has already surpassed his early season targets.
Reid, who is likely to face Stirling Albion in today’s Betfred Cup tie due to Carl Tremarco’s hamstring injury, said: “I am so happy to get to that milestone so quickly.
“I certainly didn’t expect that at the start of the season, to get a new deal and now I have to work towards the next milestone.
“Before I came back into pre-season it was all about getting into the squad and trying to make five or so appearances before Christmas. That was what I was really hoping for.
“As the season went on, I saw the plans the manager had laid out. Also, no left-back had come in and I played Celtic in pre-season and I thought I could go and start against Motherwell on the opening day.
“I had a good game there and I thought ‘why can’t I go and play every game?’
“At the start I thought I could be a bit-part player, but since it has gone on I now want to sustain that and to be a regular.
“It has been good learning in every game about the different opponents and how to handle different players.
“I am growing more confident with every game and playing against guys like James Forrest and Ryan Kent, the best players in the country, then if you are handling them then you should be able to play against anyone in the country.”
Reid hopes his breakthrough can inspire more of County’s youngsters to make the step up, with fellow defender Ben Williamson making his debut in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over Elgin City.
Having seen a number of his youth team-mates released during the summer, Reid knows how fortunate he is to have been handed his chance by Staggies manager Stuart Kettlewell.
Reid added: “There are four young boys who are training regularly with the first-team. I have been starting and three others have been on the bench regularly.
“We have a young squad and against Livingston the average age of the squad was 23.”
He continued: “With Covid, a lot of the boys from the youth and reserve squad got released last season.
“All my good mates when I signed a couple of years ago on my modern apprenticeship all left in the summer.
“It was a big change to go into the first team and to mature and adapt than being with my pals and teenagers my same age.
“I am still in contact with the boys and some of them are struggling to find new clubs.
“I am definitely lucky the manager trusted me, offered me a new deal and I have never looked back.”
Reid’s progress has been rewarded by a call-up to the Scotland under-19s squad, with the defender hoping he can catch the eye of under-21s manager Scot Gemmill.
He added: “It was a shame how the call-up ended, but hopefully I can get the call-up the next time the under-19s meet up.”