WIGAN Athletic new boy Yanic Wildschut is hoping his wonder goal at Crewe can help to kickstart his career.
The 23-year-old only arrived at the DW Stadium last week, on a three-month loan from Middlesbrough.
Wildschut had struggled to break into the first-team set-up on Teesside since arriving from Dutch football just over 12 months ago.
After training with his new Wigan team-mates for the first time last Friday, he was fast-tracked on to the bench for the visit of Walsall last weekend.
An encouraging cameo off the bench secured his first start for the club in midweek against Crewe.
And a jaw-droppingly brilliant goal – when he carried the ball 50 yards before smashing into the top corner from 25 yards – gave a tantalising glimpse of what is to come.
“I picked the ball on up on the halfway line, it was a counter,” explained Wildschut, who also laid on two assists for Jordy Hiwula in the 3-2 triumph.
“I just ran at the players and I saw Holty made some space for me.
“At first I just wanted to run at the defender and knock it past him, but he was covering the outside.
“I went inside and, when I came close to the 18-yard box, I only thought one thing – and that was shoot. It went in well.”
The phrase ‘went in well’ might be the understatement of the season, but was it his best-ever goal?
“I scored one at Rotherham last year that was also a nice one – but not as nice as this!” he laughed.
The importance of the goal – which secured Wigan’s passage into round three of the JPT – helped to make it even more special.
“I hit it really hard, and I didn’t really know where it was going to land,” he added. “When I saw it going into the top corner, I was like: ‘Yes!’”
Not bad considering he’s only been a Wigan player for a matter of days.
“It was difficult because on Thursday I signed, and you have to get to know everybody’s name,” he admitted.
“I still don’t know everybody’s name! But they are really nice.
“It’s also good when you play and they get to know you, and it makes it a little bit easier.
“But they’re all great lads and they helped me when I need it.
“The technical staff and the physios and everybody’s been really kind to me.
“That helps me settle in well.”
Wildschut could not have staked his case any more emphatically to boss Gary Caldwell ahead of Saturday’s tough trip to Bury.
And the prospect of being a major player at Wigan, after several months on the fringes at Middlesbrough, is something that appeals to him.
“That’s what I came here for,” he acknowledged. “I haven’t been playing a lot, and I’m just coming to play.
“I feel I missed some game time, and sometimes I was tired after two runs.
“If I can keep this up I’ll only get better, and hopefully be important for the team as well.
“I think I can make more runs in the final third.
“We have to see how everything goes in the coming three months.”
The clip of Wildschut’s goal at Crewe has already taken the internet by storm, and he’s hoping Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has managed to view it.
“He told me they were watching me,” revealed Wildschut. “It was difficult for me to play in their team because we had so many players.
“But he said: ‘We are watching you, and if there’s anything you need just call me and we will help you’.
“With everybody here at Wigan, I think everything’s going to be fine.
“I just want to play and get the opportunity. I have to show it otherwise I will be on the bench also.
“I’m fit because I’ve been training always and never been injured, but I know I’ve missed game time.
“I’ve just arrived, and I need to know everybody’s qualities. But I think I will only grow.
“I’m at maybe 80 per cent match fit, but that’s why I came off early because I want to play Saturday as well.
“I’m just happy we won, and everything is now focused on Saturday.”
Latics face a Bury side who have already shown they’ll be among the promotion contenders in League One.
But Wildschut is convinced he’s seen enough from his new team-mates to believe they’ll be there or thereabouts themselves.
“I think so,” he predicted. “If you see how we play, sometimes it’s really good – everybody’s like two touches.
“We also make stupid mistakes, but if we can get rid of that we’ll be good and start winning games instead of getting draws.
“It looks promising from what I’ve seen in the past few days.
“We just have to keep getting better, but I have full confidence.
“I just want to do my thing. I’m happy I can play and I just have to show what I’ve got so I can keep playing.”