Ben Cabango believes his loan spell in the Welsh Premier League is helping him mature as a person and player.
The teenage Swansea City defender joined The New Saints on a six-month loan this summer and has hit the ground running, getting 13 games under his belt so far.
Cabango also scored his first senior goal in the Champions League as the Oswestry club beat Macedonian side Shkendija Tetovo during a qualifier in July.
The centre-back, who joined the Swans’ academy set-up from Cardiff at 14, will link up with Wales’ under-19 squad this week.
And the 18-year-old is relishing his maiden taste of first-team football.
“I am loving life right now,” Cabango said. “The opportunity TNS have given me is great and everything is going well.
“I am playing a lot of first-team football which is a good standard. I feel like I am learning a lot and improving every game.
“Their squad has a good mix and the older players are helping me out with some great advice which is also helping me develop my game.”
Cabango has enjoyed a rapid rise from the Swans academy to senior football.
He made 31 appearances for the under-18s before making his first start for the Swans’ under-23s in March.
He also captained an under-19s side to a ninth consecutive FAW Youth Cup title in May and believes more youngsters should look to get first-team experience on loan.
“When the offer came I jumped at the opportunity to go and play men’s football,” he said.
“I think more players my age need to go out on loan. I feel I have learnt so much in the last four months and I would recommend it to anyone.
“I’d say the difference from academy and under-23s football is about 70 per cent because of the intensity and competitive nature of the games.
“The chances I have had here so far have been amazing. Scoring in the Champions League was a dream. I could not believe when it happened, it meant a lot.
“Playing in that and the Europa League has been a big bonus for me. I have had a great taste of first-team football and now and I want more, so I will keep pushing to play at a higher level.”