GAVIN Massey says the rough and tumble of the Ryman Premier is just what he needs to make a go of it in the Football League.
Watford boss Malky Mackay believes Massey’s time at Wealdstone can toughen up the striker and make him a better player.
The 18-year-old, brought in by Stones boss Gordon Bartlett to beef up his forward options, was plunged straight into action for the 0-0 draw with Tonbridge Angels on Monday night.
Massey says the game against the anything but angelic Angels was light years away from the technical, almost non-contact world of youth team football with the Hornets.
However, he admitted it was just what his boss McKay would have wanted and he vowed to learn quickly.
He said: "It was not the sort of football I’ve been used to. I had a few pinches and flicks of the ear, but I know Malky Mackay, the gaffer at Watford, wants me to be able to deal with that, because the higher the level you go the more you get it.
"Youth team football is pretty football where you don’t get much of the tough tackling or niggles from the defenders.
"Reserve team football you get a bit of it, but Ryman Premier is definitely something I’m new to and that I need to learn and get better at."
Massey nearly ended up watching the game from the stands, after his signing-on papers were sent to Watford’s training ground when the player himself was in college.
Whether the mix-up affected the teenager or not only he knows, but he did admit he had been over-anxious to impress on his Grosvenor Vale debut.
He said: "I think I was a bit eager to get the goal today, so I lashed at a few things.
"As the weeks go by and I feel calmer in the surroundings I think I’ll fit in well with the team.
"But the runs in behind the defence are what Wealdstone fans can expect from me and I just can’t wait to get back out there on Saturday now and continue learning."