He famously had a trial as a kid with Italian giants AS Roma but Louis Appere reckons a stint in the juniors last season with Broughty Athletic could be the making of him.
The 20-year-old Dundee United front man was handed a start against Stenhousemuir on Tuesday night in the Betfred Cup, playing the entire 90 minutes in a game which ended 2-1 in the Tangerines’ favour.
Now, Appere, who signed for United in the summer of 2016, is hoping this could be his breakthrough season for the club as he bids to nail down a regular place in Robbie Neilson’s match-day squad.
Appere said: “I went on loan to Broughty Athletic at the end of last season.
“It was a really good experience.
“A lot of the United first team were playing with the reserves and some of the young lads weren’t getting a lot of game time.
“So I jumped at the chance to go to Broughty.
“Easty (Craig Easton), the coach at the time, knew the manager there Jamie McCunnie who used to play for Dundee United.
“At first I didn’t know what to expect going to the juniors but the Broughty lads are a really good team.
“Sometimes you had games that finished 8-0 but there were tough battles as well.
“I think I learned a different side of the game there.
“A lot of the time with the reserves it can be two young centre-halves you are up against but with Broughty you were playing against older, physical players.
“A lot of the time in junior football players have previously been at a higher level and are still decent so, yes, it was a great experience.”
Appere seized his chance at Broughty, netting a barrowload of goals in his relatively-short period of time with the Fed.
And he admitted he was spurred on by another SPFL player, Josh Skelly, who was on loan from Montrose at the time.
Appere added: “I was competing the whole time with Skelly for top scorer.
“I think I had something like 23 goals to my name from the end of January but Josh eventually edged ahead.
“After the loan, I had a bit of confidence, scoring so many goals.
“So I came in feeling good in pre-season and I believe I have done well so far.
“I would have liked to get a goal against Stenny but I was happy enough with my performance.
“So I will see what I can do in these Betfred Cup games.
“The manager seems to be happy with me so far, especially with my fitness when I came back.
“I feel I have held my own so far and I just want that to continue.
“This will be my fourth season at United and I definitely feel this could be the one so I am going to give it my all.”
Appere certainly did that against Stenny but he admitted he was still kicking himself that he opted to pass instead of shoot when he was played through on goal in the first half of the game.
He said: “It was a hard-fought win in the end.
“Personally, I felt I did well, made some good runs and held the ball up.
“However, there was the chance in the first half when I probably should have shot but I tried to cut it back.
“I should have been a bit more selfish there and that’s something I have to work on but I am sure it will come in time.”