Miles Leaburn says he has been living the dream this season.
The academy graduate, who signed his maiden professional contract with the club last summer, has made 24 first team appearances and scored seven goals to date in what has been a remarkable breakthrough campaign.
“It’s been like a dream, really,” Leaburn told CharltonTV. “Obviously coming in straight away and then being involved in every game - it’s like everything I do on FIFA career mode when I make myself a pro! It’s literally come to life.
“Playing for Charlton means a lot to me and all of my family, obviously with my mum working for the club and my dad being a big part here, too. Now to come through it just means everything.”
The 19-year-old admits hearing the Addicks faithful sing the famous 'Leaburn' chant - just as they did for his father Carl over two decades ago - is an incredible feeling.
“I remember when I first heard it in Accrington… I’ve seen some clips of my dad and I hear the chants so to have it now for me is like really special and it’s really special for him to see it as well.
“Ever since I was three or four him and my mum were always taking me to football, even all the long, long journeys that they had to take sometimes if it was away games. The advice my dad has given me has shaped me and helped me be who I am today. I’m forever grateful for what they’ve done.
“My family and the fans have been very supportive of me and not put loads of pressure on me which is really helpful because I’m still young. I’m only in my first season but I think I’ve dealt with it well and they’ve made it easier to deal with.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to Peterborough United, Leaburn said: “Every game is a tough game, but I think we can really push on and make a statement. We’ve got three wins on the spin, we’re in good form and hopefully we can continue it.”
The Addicks return to The Valley on Saturday, January 28th for the visit of Bolton Wanderers (12.30pm KO GMT). Click here to purchase your tickets.
Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the club's academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.
(Transcription by Dominik Zielinski)