Ben Doak believes it is like “night and day” between his first pre-season with Liverpool and now, after scoring his first goal for the club.
This time last year, Doak was getting to work with the under-18s following his £600,000 move from Celtic.
Now, after a breakthrough 12 months, the 17-year-old winger is a firm fixture in the first team’s preparations for the new campaign.
He has featured heavily against Karlsruher, Greuther Furth and Leicester, scoring the fourth goal of the day as Liverpool thrashed the latter 4-0 in Singapore.
Speaking to LFCTV after that game, Doak reflected on the “good feeling” of netting at senior level and explained how it “feels night and day” from a year ago.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s my first one,” he said.
“It just feels really good to score in front of all the fans. I’m obviously trying to do my best and improve us as well.
“It feels night and day from this time last year. Still a long way to go, I’m just trying to improve as a player again.”
Doak has slotted in seamlessly within the senior setup so far, and that has been helped by working with world-class forwards like fellow right winger Mo Salah.
“I mean, what’s not to like?” the Scot said.
“He’s one of the best in the world, he has been for a few years. I can just soak it all up, try and take everything I can from him.”
The teenager may find it difficult to take Salah’s place, of course, but with a season in the Europa League to come along with three other competitions, there is every chance Doak is involved.
“I want to play as many games as possible,” he continued.
“The more you play, the more likely you are to stay in the game as a whole. I’m just trying to make a career for myself – hopefully at the highest level.”