Dundrennan rugby centre Stafford McDowall says it is a dream come true after signing his first professional contract with Glasgow Warriors.
The 20-year-old, who made his debut at home to the South African side Southern Kings last season, has made a string of impressive performances and was rewarded with a deal, which will keep him at the club until 2021.
McDowall said: “It’s a dream come true, being a professional rugby player is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“The last two months have gone by pretty quickly and I didn’t expect to get the run of games I got but I’ve really enjoyed it, especially playing at Scotstoun.
“My goal now is to get as much game time as possible, add consistency to my performances and learn as much as I can from the coaches and my teammates.”
A product of the Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy and former Stewartry youth rugby player, McDowall has since gone on to play five times for the Warriors, starting in the victories over Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets in November.
Standing at 6ft 4in and weighing in at over 100kg, the centre has made the step up to professional rugby look seamless, impressing the Glasgow coaching staff with his physicality in both attack and defence.
When not playing for Glasgow, McDowall plays for Ayr in the Tennent’s Premiership and has also represented Scotland at all age grades.
He was Scotland U20 captain at this year’s Six Nations and World Championships.
The Glasgow Warriors coaching staff nominated Stafford as one of four players to be Warrior of the Month for November.
Head Coach Dave Rennie said: “Stafford’s been training with us a year and a half now.
“He got limited opportunities with us last year but impressed us with his skill-set and work ethic, and has earned the opportunities he’s got this season.
“He’s a big man with the ability to carry through contact.
“He’s incredibly fit and his distribution and kicking skills are also of real quality.
“He really impressed us during the international window, he looked really comfortable in the jersey and was never overawed by the opposition.
“We think he’s got a big future ahead of him.”
In 2017 McDowall was named the Stewartry Sports Personality of the Year at the Stewartry Sports Awards after a breakthrough season.