Manchester United youngster Ezekiel Fryers has admitted his developed at Old Trafford this season has come as a surprise.
The 19-year-old made his Manchester United debut against Leeds United in the Carling Cup earlier in the season and was a late substitute against Otelul Galati in the Champions League.
Sir Alex Ferguson recently suggested Fryers could be part of a very youthful looking Manchester United first team for their Carling Cup quarter final against Crystal Palace, and ahead of what would be the defender's fourth appearance for United this season, the starlet suggests his involvement has come as a surprise.
Fryers' development at Manchester United has been hampered by injuries over the last 15-months and like many of his precocious young academy graduates he was looking at possible loan options during the summer in order to speed up his development. When nothing materialised he admits his subsequent first team involvement has come as a very pleasant surprise.
"I must admit I didn't think the first-team games would come as soon as they did," The Manchester United youngster told United Review.
"At the start of the season, a lot of the young guys start talking about loans and most people want to land themselves a loan deal to get more experience.
"Nothing worked out on that front for me, so I just concentrated on training well and getting my fitness levels up with the Reserves. Then the Carling Cup game at Leeds came along and it was an amazing experience.
"And to come on at Old Trafford in a Champions League game was out of this world. It all felt a bit unreal. That's the most excited I've ever been and I just want to keep experiencing things like that."
"I was a bit surprised the opportunity came along so soon, especially because I've had a couple of injuries in recent years,
"Last season was a bit of a downer: I had a bad injury and needed a knee operation, but this term I've managed to stay fit."
Fryers made his debut at centre-half but played his second game, against Aldershot in the Champions League, at left-back and the England youth international admits he feels more at home at fullback.
"Ideally, I prefer to play at left-back but I'll play wherever the manager wants. I'm not going to say 'no' to him!"
Manchester United are likely to give a number of their young players an opportunity to impress in this evening's Carling Cup tie against Crystal Palace. Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba, two of the club's leading young players, have been strongly tipped to make their first starts for the club.