Donal McDermott is taking all the bumps and bruises of league football in his stride as he makes his mark on loan at Chesterfield.
The 19-year-old winger, one of the stars of City's FA Youth Cup-winning side last year, went to the Spireites on a three-month deal at the start of the season and has racked three goals in 10 appearances so far.
Playing alongside and coming up against battle-hardened professionals week-in, week-out is helping Dublin-born Donal's footballing education, as he told mcfc.co.uk when we dropped in at Chesterfield's training ground:
"I'm really happy, I feel like I am progressing and I have popped up with a few goals as well.
"It's different at this level, as the Academy it was all about passing and moving, it still is here but it is a lot more physical. I had come across that in the reserves, and playing in the Pontin's League as well really helped me grow up.
"In this league you have to work harder to make space for yourself, but I am really enjoying it. I'm learning all the time and I could not really ask for more.
"I'm seeing things from the players I'm playing with and against that just come down to having experience. I get annoyed at some of the things, like the little shoves you get, that you would never get at Academy or even reserve level. It's all good, and I can't help but learn from it."
In this league you have to work harder to make space for yourself, but I am really enjoying it.
Donal is one of several youngsters learning their trade away from City at the moment, but he's in regular contact with many of the team that he came up with from the Academy as well as the Blues' reserve team boss, Glyn Hodges.
He continued: "I speak to all the boys all the time, and I have popped back into Carrington a couple of times to show my face. Glyn Hodges rings me after every game, and I spoke to David Ball and his family after he made the bench for the derby. They were ecstatic, and I'm really happy for him."
Chesterfield manager John Sheridan is also delighted with the way that the City youngster has adapted to life in League Two, and he said:
"He's got used to the type of football you find at this level, and physically he has found what is needed, which should stand him in good stead. He has stood up to the challenge very well, he's tough and he does not mind taking a knock, he's usually straight back up.
"Donal was very quiet on his first day here, but now he's the loudest one of the group. He's doing well for us and I am very pleased with the way he has responded."