Newcastle winger Joey Champness says he is honoured to be nominated for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award but maintains he is far from the finished product.
Champness has caught the eye at the high-flying Jets this season after making his A-League debut in round one with a goal against the Mariners.
The 20-year-old has managed three goals and one assist in 14 appearances, helping Newcastle to second on the table.
But learning and continual improvement is the rookie's main focus.
"I'm really happy, it's a great feeling to be playing some minutes in the league and to be rewarded with this, I feel very happy and honoured," he said.
"I feel like the season's going good. There's always room for improvement individually. I'm always going to look to improve each week, week-in-week-out. I feel like we're moving along well."
Originally from Moreton Bay, Champness was unwanted by Brisbane Roar and snapped up on scholarship by the Jets.
The forward admits he may have even exceeded his own expecations with his performances so far.
"Yeah that's a good question - I don't know, you just always want to do your best every time you go on the park and it definitely makes it easier with the players around you," Champness said.
"We've got a great quality squad. We're just going out with a positive mindset and looking to perform as best we can."
With new signing Patricio Rodriguez joining the club Champness could find his minutes cut in the weeks ahead.
But the winger insists competition in the squad is a positive and says he is learning off the likes of Rodriguez and Ronny Vargas.
"It improves everyone as players when everyone's fighting for spots," he said.
"It's great that we've got a great addition to the team. That's football [if I start on the bench]. You perform as best as you can. Put your case forward and at the end of the day it's what's best for the team.
"What better to learn from players like that."
Newcastle face Central Coast at home in the F3 Derby on Tuesday. Champness is hoping for a repeat of their past encounter, when the Jets smashed the Mariners 5-1.
"All the boys are up for it, we're really excited," he said.
"[The 5-1] it was a great feeling and a great game. We're looking to hopefully emulate that performance. Looking back it was a really great feeling and realising I'd scored on debut. It's awesome.
"Everytime we step on the park we're looking to win."