Karl Sheppard has high ambitions – and hopes that taking a step back to Accrington Stanley can help his career progress.
The 22-year-old has signed on loan from Reading until January and he gave everyone a glimpse of hopefully what is to come with a solo goal against Coventry.
The Championship side snapped him up after his impressive form with Shamrock Rovers with a goal every other game and it was the Irish connection which persuaded him Stanley was the loan club for him.
"I know Paul Cook and obviously Podge (Padraig Amond) from their Sligo days so they were a factor in me coming here," said Sheppard, who featured for Shamrock in the Europa League last season. He also knows Toto Nsiala from his youth days at Everton.
"Paul Cook is a very good manager and I knew what he was all about," he said. "Coming to work with him is the main attraction.
"Reading manager Brian McDermott said to me that players like Gylfi Sigurdsson had to go out on loan to League Two and Simon Church went on loan to League One.
"One went on to Spurs and the other is playing in Reading’s first team so he told me to go out, try to impress and see if I can go back to Reading and impress there.
"And it’s always nice to score in your first game for a club. It wasn’t the greatest day at the office for the team as we lost but pre-season is not about the results, it’s about getting minutes in and trying to play the best you can really."
He continued: "I’d kind of known for a week or so that the move was coming about but on Friday I was still sitting at home in Reading wondering what will happen, then it came about quite quickly from there.
"I’ve got two, maybe two-and-a-half games in for Reading in pre-season so I think that I’m in good enough shape.
"I have six months to impress really. Paul Cook is all about his strikers scoring so hopefully I can be one of those. Paul’s a very good manager. He likes to play a nice brand of football and likes his strikers to score goals so that’s what drew me towards this move."
Cook was pleased to get his man as he looks to boost his firepower ahead of the August 18 League Two kick-off.
"We’re absolutely delighted to have got Karl in and we can’t thank Reading enough for letting us have him," said the Reds boss.
"He’s a lad who – like a lot of people – needs to be playing games and I think you could see from his finish on Saturday that if we get him in the right areas he’ll score goals.
"He seemed to score against me in Ireland quite a lot!"