When I first joined Oxford United, there was one player who impressed me the most.

It wasn’t Alfie Potter and his tricky dribbling skills, Ryan Clarke and his amazing shot-stopping nor Paul McLaren’s great passing range.

In fact, it wasn’t even a first-team player. It was the fresh-faced skinny left-footed academy player Callum O’Dowda.

He was playing in the academy under the watchful eye of former U’s winger Chris Allen, who was producing a good crop of young talent.

I was pleased to see Callum get offered a new three-year deal with the club, but I wasn’t surprised.

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The reason he impressed me is because he had certain qualities that you find in successful people.

It takes more than just a talent for football to become a successful player. It requires determination, discipline and dedication – qualities shared by successful people in every industry.

That is an opening to one of my Duberry’s Premier Talks I give, but I say it because it’s true. I’ve seen it and it’s in me.

I saw those qualities in some of the best players in the world with whom I trained and played on a daily basis throughout my career.

Determination is the fundamental ingredient you need to get started, even when your chances of success might be low.

Having determination alone is not enough so discipline is pivotal in keeping the momentum going.

If determination is the frame and discipline is the engine, dedication provides the wheels that keep it all moving.

If you have all three of those qualities in you, there is a huge chance you will be a success in whatever you choose to do.

And the top players or successful people have all three, not just one or two.

Just having two out of three is not enough to be successful.

In Callum, I saw his determination to succeed.

H e knew where he wanted to be – he wanted to be a pro, but, more importantly, he wanted to be starring in the first team.

He wasn’t going to let anything or anyone stop him from achieving his goal. It’s a great quality. I was the same at his age when I was at Chelsea.

He showed the discipline in working on his game and building his body frame up so he could cope with the demands of playing men’s football – not just once in a while, but daily, to ensure he got the desired results he wanted.

I felt he was the hardest worker at the club.

Being dedicated to a task is also important as it is easy to lose heart, especially when you feel that chances keep passing you by.

With frustration being his only Achilles heel, I felt he dealt with disappointments pretty well and always remained focused and dedicated to his goal.

I got on well with Callum and he would come to me for advice now and again. He would always listen and take on board what I said.

He is very much a grounded kid with good family in the background, so I don’t expect him to start turning into big-time Charlie with his short-term success.

If Callum carries on displaying those same qualities, I feel at some stage he will be playing in the Barclays Premier League.