It was a pre-season to treasure for young Yan Valery, having spent part of the summer training with the club's first team, and the 19-year-old is keen to put his experiences to good use as he tries to catch the eye of the manager this term.
The full-back visited China as part of Mark Hughes's 30-man squad, but, remaining grounded, is keen to continue earning his stripes with regular game time for Saints' Under-23s.
The teenager, also a French youth international, is hoping a series of consistent performances under Radhi Jaïdi may just be enough to earn a first team call-up - but for now, is happy focussing on tonight's PL2 clash with Middlesbrough.
"We've had a good pre-season," the Frenchman began. "I went with the first team to China, where I learnt a lot from the senior players.
"When I came back with the 23s I've tried to apply what I've learnt this summer.
"I played 45 minutes against Schalke in China, it was a great experience. Now I'm trying to focus my attention on the 23s and take my opportunities with the first team when I can.
"I need to continue working hard and hopefully I get a chance. I have to firstly show in training that I'm worthy of a place.
"I can't wait for the first game of the U23s season. We have a good group, everyone's happy, confident, and we've won most of our pre-season games.
"I want to show to the manager that he can trust me, of course. If you train hard, work hard, you play good. I have to remain patient."