Teenager Jordan Nuttell has set his sights on earning his first pro contract with Boston United - after recovering from a heart operation.
The youngster - who turns 18 later this month - admitted he considered quitting the game for health reasons.
But after being given the thumbs up to pursue his dreams, Nuttell wants to make his mark in the game.
It was as a 13-year-old Boston United Centre of Excellence player that Nuttell first learned something wasn’t quite right with his heart.
While warming up for an academy match against Lincoln City, his heart began pounding at a phenomenal pace.
This was to reoccur numerous times, linked to football-based warm-ups, and his heart would record up to 240 beats per minute, far more than the average of 80.
This meant he would turn up to matches and, without warning, suddenly become unable to play.
At first, a series of tests offered no leads. But when Nuttell was given a heart monitor to train in, experts discovered he was suffering from supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), a rapid heart rhythm.
With high-profile footballers suffering heart issues, such as Fabrice Muamba’s collapse, and the death of Marc-Vivien Foe, Nuttell and his dad Micky - himself a former United striker - began fearing the worst.
“It was very scary,” admitted Nuttell jnr. “You think ‘do I want to go through this just to run about on a bit of grass and kick a bag of air about’?”
At first, the youngster thought quitting the game was his best option, especially when he was told that corrective lazer surgery would leave a five per cent chance of him having to wear a pacemaker.
“Five per cent sounds like nothing until you’re thinking about your son and realising this is very real,” Micky told The Standard. “As a dad you always think of the worst-case scenario.
“But football’s always been, in some ways, our life in the family.”
And that’s what persuaded Nuttell to undergo a two-and-a-half-hour operation at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital in November.
After being cleared to play football, Nuttell is adamant he has made the right decision.
Since then, the striker has gone on to make three appearances in the Blue Square Bet North.
He also scored for the Pilgrims Reserves as they ended their season winning the Challenge Cup.
Now Nuttell will report back for pre-season training, hoping to impress.
He said: “Having the operation has made me a lot more confident.
“Hopefully, I can do well at Boston United. Being born in Boston, playing for the club is what I’ve wanted all my life.”