Hawke's Bay United's newest hot prospect says he's not fussed about individual recognition, despite netting 18 goals in just eight matches at the Under-19 Youth Tournament at Park Island.
Jesse Randall, 18, who has signed for HBU after a Central League season with North Wellington, was awarded the golden boot at the annual Labour Weekend U-19 meet.
But he said the team will always take priority over individual accolades – a mindset he plans to continue when donning the black and white jersey this season.
"I never go into tournaments or matches expecting individual awards – I always just want to win for the team," he said.
"I'd been playing with quite a few of the boys at the tournament all year, so it makes it an awesome weekend. Obviously it's always nice to get those types of awards at the end, but it's all about the team."
Randall's North Wellington side finished runners up to Wairarapa United, after a 5-3 penalty shootout.
"The tournament went well for us as a team having got to the final, but penalties are a lottery. It was good experience and the main goal was to qualify for the main draw next year, which we did."
The winger turned striker, who finished last season's Central League second top scorer with 18 goals in 18 matches, said he hopes to replicate his form in the upcoming National League season at HBU.
"I just want to learn. The main thing is always the experience and I'm going to be playing alongside great players and coaches," he said.
"The move will allow me to develop and hopefully allow me to move to the next step in my career."
Hawke's Bay United head coach Chris Greatholder hopes to be able to help his new signing on his footballing journey.
"There's no pressure on Jesse – we just want him to come here and feel relaxed and confident enough to enjoy his football and express himself.
"He's a special talent and we understand he is on a pretty cool journey that is moving at quite a fast pace. We will work hard to help him develop his game and prepare him for this season and his next steps best we can."
The Rongotai College student featured at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where New Zealand finished third in their group behind hosts Brazil, who won the tournament, and Angola.
Now the teenager is eyeing a spot in the 2021 U-20 World Cup squad. The tournament will be played in Indonesia in May and June, 2021.
"With the U-20s coming up, a goal of mine is to do as well as I can and hopefully get in the team," he said. "Everything is a bit up in the air, but I'll do my best.
"It has always been my main goal. Representing my country is the top, top thing for me. I think that is what I'm pushing for most."
Fellow HBU players Kaeden Adkins and Oscar Mason have also recently received call-ups to New Zealand youth squads.
"Hawke's Bay United clearly has some good youth prospects, so that's promising," Randall added.
Hawke's Bay United will face Hamilton Wanderers at the Bluewater Stadium, Napier, in the opening weekend of the 2020/21 ISPS Handa Men's Premiership season.