By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Bradden Inman scored against Manchester United Reserves this week on his return from a three-month injury lay-off, and now the Australian midfielder has set his sights on breaking into the senior set-up next season.
The 20-year-old had been out of action since January after suffering a knee injury in a friendly at Leeds' Elland Road, but opened the scoring against the Red Devils in his first game back - although the Magpies went on to lose 6-3.
Now he's aiming to end the campaign on a high before pushing on to challenge for a first-team place next term, having already had a taste of Barclays Premier League football at the age of just 17.
In January 2009, he was on the bench against Manchester City, while the Adelaide-born youngster was also among the substitutes when United lost to Peterborough in the Carling Cup in September that year.
Since then, the likes of Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic, Nile Ranger and Mehdi Abeid have all stepped up from the second-string to the first-team squad, while the Michael Richardson and Ryan Donaldson have both been on the fringes in recent weeks.
So Inman hopes his comeback goal on Monday night will be the platform for his own progression as he looks to fulfil the potential which has previously seen him pick up the prized Wor Jackie award.
"I've been out for three months now so it was good to be back in the Reserve team and just playing football," he told nufcTV.
"When you see the lads going out to train and you're just stuck in the gym all day, it's not the best feeling. But I came back on Saturday, trained two days and they asked me if I wanted to play.
"I said, 'yeah, why not?'. In training it's felt good and it was good to get 60 minutes under my belt. They said 45 but they asked me if I wanted to play longer, so obviously I'm going to say yes."
Willie Donachie's Reserves have two more league games this term, either side of the Sage Northumberland FA Senior Cup final at the Sports Direct Arena.
And Inman revealed: "We've got Liverpool on Monday so I hope to get more minutes under my belt.
"And hopefully I can just push on and come back next season fighting for a spot, and trying to get in that squad."