Walsall midfielder Ronan Maher has been enjoying the experience of pre-season with the first team.
The teenager has impressed Michael Flynn and has made the step up from Under 18s into the first team environment.
Maher is keen to take the opportunity and has enjoyed the learning experience.
“It’s been good so far,” Maher said.
“The gaffer has got us doing a lot of runs, which has been quite tough but he wants us to be a pressing team when the league starts so that’s what we’ve been focusing on.
“Last season I got a glimpse of it and it pushed me on to get some more this season. I’m grateful to the gaffer giving me an opportunity so hopefully I can kick on after getting a lot of experience in this pre-season.
“The gaffer's been quite positive. He just wants me to keep playing how I am and kick on a bit more.”
Maher is determined to make his opportunity count and revealed he kept himself busy during the summer to ensure he was in good shape ready for pre-season training.
“In the off season I did quite a lot of work to get ready for pre-season because the gaffer told me before so I think I’ve coped with it well,” he explained.
“I did quite a lot of strength and conditioning because it’s a big leap between under 18s football and men’s football so I focused on the strength and conditioning, sprint work and I kept the ball work in there as well.
“The biggest difference is probably the tempo in the training sessions, it’s a lot higher here so that was hard to get used to but other than that I think I’m coping quite well.”