FORMER Exeter City trainee Jamie Micklewright has insisted that he has far from given up on his dream of making it as a professional footballer following his move to Bovey Tracey AFC.
Micklewright, now 19, came through the youth development programme at St James Park from the age of 12 and was on the verge of the first-team squad when he left before Christmas.
The striker, who made his second appearance for the Moorlanders last weekend, is also signed on in the Toolstation Western League with Buckland Athletic.
But he has pledged his immediate future to Bovey and believes it can still be the first step back into the professional ranks.
"I wanted to go somewhere I would get a regular game," he said.
"With Buckland they have got a lot of games coming up and so there will be quite a lot of rotation in their squad.
"But coming out of Exeter City I wanted to get regular games."
Micklewright made a superb debut for Ryan German's side, scoring twice in a 3-2 win at Penzance, including a nerveless penalty in the dying moments.
And he believes that the Carlsberg SW Peninsula League could still provide enough of a shop window to get back into the professional game.
"If the opportunity came about it would be brilliant," he said.
"You hear a lot of pros in the game that say they didn't start until they were 22 or 23 so I'm certainly not giving up.
"My main strength is my finishing – I feel that I can score from just about anywhere in the box if I can get the ball."
Despite being unable to prevent a 4-2 defeat for Bovey against Premier Division champions Bodmin Town, Micklewright believes new manager Ryan German is steering the ship in the right direction.
"I think we probably deserved to get a draw out of it," he said.
"They were 2-0 up at half time, and they deserved their lead as we had stood off them a bit and let them play.
"But in the second half we got in their faces and in the end I think a draw would have been a fair result."
He added: "To put that kind of performance in shows that things are going in the right direction under Ryan German.
"Since I've been there he's been a cracking lad and a good manager – he was talking to me about signing for a while, so it helped make my mind up."
Bovey are travelling to Ivybridge Town this Saturday in another clash which Micklewright admits they will not be favourites to win.
"Most people will probably write us off before the game but I feel that we've got the quality and the determination to get a result and do well for the rest of the season."