The scout who discovered Melton football star Ollie Burke said his pace and attitude stood out even at the age of eight.
Burke was sold to Bundesliga club Red Bull Leipzig for £13m last month and seven days later made his first start for Scotland.
The 19-year-old played just over an hour of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Malta before flying off to train with his new club.
The speed of his development has come as a surprise to local talent scout Doug King who first spotted him playing for Mowbray Rangers.
But the impact he made on him back then was instant.
“I took a look and got him into Forest straightaway,” he said. “You can tell immediately with some players.
“He had the speed even as a youngster and when you have that you are halfway there.
“His attitude was also good; he was running all over the field at eight years of age.”
Doug, from Syston, is still treading the touchlines of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire for Forest, having also scouted for Leicester City, Derby County and Sheffield United during a 40-year career.
The 79-year-old, who started Syston Juniors around 50 years ago, believes he will earn about £5,000 in total following Ollie’s exploits for Scotland and his big money transfer to Germany from Forest.
“It’s a good price for him; unbelievable at 19 years of age,” Doug added.
“I’m sorry he has gone, I thought they would have kept him for another season; they would have got a lot more for him then.”