Matt McMahon’s search to cement a starting spot led last year to a switch from senior football at Portadown to second-tier Loughgall.
The midfielder offered evidence in support of his decision last weekend by grabbing two goals to seal a 2-0 success over highly-rated Ards.
It handed McMahon a first competitive appearance of the season on a Loughgall scoresheet and added another encouraging step forward in his development.
McMahon has been handed a target of a double-figure goal return by the Loughgall management team and he admits both relief at breaking that deadlock and a determination to drive on.
“It was definitely a big win for the club and great team performance,” said McMahon. “I made my Loughgall debut last season against Ards and it was a nice way to show just how much the squad has improved over the past year.
“I certainly want to add more goals to my game and it took a while to get going but now it is about pushing forward.
“The same is the case for the team overall and we can take real confidence from that Ards win.
“Everyone is working hard and we have a great dressing room.
“I needed regular football when I decided to move from Portadown and am now 20 years old so want to progress.”
McMahon is part of a panel with the emphasis on youth at Lakeview Park, however, he is eager to pick up advice from the senior players as he continues to adjust to Championship life.
“Living away from home as a teenager in Scotland was a real learning curve in terms of life as well as football,” said McMahon. “I picked up a cruciate ligament injury at Aberdeen then came home and signed for Portadown.
“That time in Scotland gave me the confidence to trust my decisions and I didn’t want to just sit at Portadown and play in the reserves or whatever.
“I wanted to develop and was happy to take that step down from a Premiership club to gain experience.
“Championship football puts you up against some really experienced players but the senior guys around our club keep us tuned in to what to expect from certain games.
“It is a tough level and was a shock for me in some ways but I am getting used to that physical test and enjoying the learning curve.”