Cameron Ward admits he would have laughed if he had been told at the start of the season he would end it by playing in a national cup final.
The 18-year-old looks set to lead the attack for Suffolk Under-18s in their FA County Youth Cup final against Lancashire at Ipswich Town's Portman Road on Saturday.
Ward, who plays for Cornard United, visited the stadium on Tuesday along with his Suffolk teammates ahead of the final.
Sitting in the home dressing room which Suffolk will occupy on Saturday, Ward said: “I would have laughed if someone had said that to me.
“I didn’t have a clue that I would be called-up for Suffolk.
"I played for Cornard United against Needham Market Reserves early in the season and scored and someone from Suffolk was watching.”
Ward subsequently made his debut as an 87th-minute substitute against Berks and Bucks in the second round of this season’s competition and scored in the 6-1 win.
He has since been a regular starter for Suffolk this season, scoring the equaliser in the 2-1 victory over the Amateur Football Alliance in the semi-final at Hadleigh United.
Ward, who lives at Kelvedon and attends Colchester Sixth Form College, said: “It was a great feeling to get us back in that game.
“I would love to score in the final, especially in this stadium.
"I have played at Colchester United’s ground, but this is just outstanding – it is such a nice pitch.”
Ward has found the net more than 100 times this season, with more than of half of those coming for Earls Colne in the Colchester and District Youth League.
And he is the leading scorer in the whole of the Thurlow Nunn Youth League with 26 goals in just 17 league games.
But Ward, who is in the process of applying to Hertfordshire University to study physiotherapy starting in September, said: “It is a great feeling to score for Suffolk.
“I know it is a high level and I am proud of myself when I can achieve that.”