Exeter City goalkeeper James Hamon says he would not be playing professionally were it not for Guernsey FC.
The 19-year-old signed his first full-time deal earlier this month.
He was spotted by the League Two Grecians after playing for Guernsey FC in England.
"Guernsey FC has definitely gone to the next level and that's what you need if you're going to get noticed and if you're going to sign a professional contract," he told BBC Sport.
"The local league in Guernsey's standard isn't high enough for you to get noticed."
Hamon, who began his career in the St Martin's side that dominated Channel Island football in 2011, was understudy to former Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Oxford United goalkeeper Chris Tardif at Guernsey FC.
He played 13 times for the club as they rose from the Combined Counties League to the Isthmian League Division One South.
"What Guernsey FC is about is getting a stepping stone to play professional football.
"Rhys Jordan has done it from Guernsey FC at Bristol City as well, so for me to do that it was great," said Hamon, who also became
"I've been playing with adults since I was 15 which some of the lads here coming through the academy don't get that opportunity.
"In a way it works to my advantage, but the disadvantage is I haven't been training every day like the lads from the academy have. It's got its good and bad points, but I wouldn't change anything."
Hamon has yet to make his first-team debut for Exeter, but was on the bench as an unused substitute a number of times last season.
"I hadn't been here long and it was Fleetwood away when they first said I was in the squad and I'd be travelling.
"I was ecstatic, it was a dream come true for me to see my name on the back of a football shirt," he added.
"I loved the moment and as the season went on I knew I had to keep doing it and my target was to get the contract.
"This year it'll be to play and hopefully I'll fulfil that as well."