Owen Lane admits his debut season at Cardiff Blues has been like a dream come true but his feet remain firmly on the ground as he looks ahead to 2018-19.
Having made two appearances in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in the previous campaign, the centre-cum-wing burst onto the scene last autumn.
He took his chance with two hands and never looked back, featuring in 19 games, including the European Challenge Cup final against Gloucester.
Lane’s time in Bilbao was tainted by a hand injury, which ended his final after 20 minutes but he was delighted to cap his first season with silverware.
He said: “It has been a pretty special year for me, it wasn’t something I was expecting but I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
“When you add in going on to achieve what we did in Bilbao, I couldn’t have asked for a better season.
“At the start of the year I was just targeting a few first team involvements. I was realistic and knew where I stood being fourth or fifth choice wing or centre but then I was lucky to have a break and again lucky enough to take it.
“If I was offered this back then I would definitely had taken it and I would have been over the moon so to have actually achieved it in my first season, and with this tight group, it’s pretty remarkable.
“There are so many memories, the trip to South Africa, Bilbao and the whole environment is the best I have experienced. Everyone talks about trying to build a culture in teams, it doesn’t come down to coaches, it comes down to players and we have really achieved that.”
Lane was one of the recent winners at the Cardiff Blues End of Season Awards sponsored by Genero at Stratstone Land Rover Cardiff.
The 21-year-old beat off competition to scoop the Academy Player of the Season award sponsored by High Motive.
He added: “I’m pretty happy, especially when you consider the calibre of the other boys nominated. It’s always nice to come on top but any of those boys could have won the award so I’m over the moon
“There’s a good stock of young players coming through, the likes of Jarrod (Evans), Seb (Davies), Rhun (Williams), Corey (Domachowski).
“That adds to the tightness of the group and improves performance because when you have players coming through and on the heels of the senior players it brings everyone’s game on.”
You can join Owen Lane at Cardiff Arms Park next season with a 2018-19 Season Membership. With prices starting at just £205 for adults and £35 for under-16s, the Season Membership packages offer unbeatable value as Cardiff Blues return to the European Champions Cup. Buy yours today by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030