Loan star Regan Slater made his mark for Carlisle against Swindon last weekend - and here, in an exclusive book extract, the young midfielder talks about his journey through the ranks at parent club Sheffield United.

I first suspected I’d be involved at Ipswich when I got told to bring my stuff to travel with the team, but I still didn’t know for sure until I saw my shirt hanging up in the dressing room. Even then, I had to ask to make sure I was on the bench!

It was a great feeling and even more so to come on at half-time. I just wanted to show what I’m all about and I think I did that, especially with the tackle on Bersant Celina.

It was nice to show that tackling hasn’t gone completely from the game and there’s still a place for it, if you get it right. Luckily I did. Afterwards, it was all over social media and even Celina wrote about it on Twitter.

It was good that he took it so well, but I do think tackling is going out of the game a little and referees don’t really help nowadays.

Everyone’s just a bit soft now, aren’t they?

The gaffer [Chris Wilder] described that tackle as his personal highlight of the game and made a bit of a fuss of me afterwards with the fans, which was nice. Although I didn’t realise he was coming up behind me and I was lucky not to land on my face when he shoved me towards the fans!

It’s no surprise he’s so passionate because it’s his club, although that does bring some added pressure. When I play for United, I don’t want to let the fans down; if I was still sat on the Kop and someone’s giving the ball away, I’d be jumping on them too!

But I see them chanting the gaffer’s name, about him being one of their own, and I want a bit of that as well. Obviously as a footballer you have your main targets but there are little side-goals as well, and that’s one of mine.

To be a Blade and have United fans chanting your name must be very special, and hopefully I get to experience that in the future.

I used to come to Bramall Lane with my dad. I’ve got a lot of good memories and a fair few bad ones, too. Stand out ones are defeats at Wembley but one of my favourite ones was actually beating Wednesday 4-2 at Hillsborough.

As a youngster I always used to look up to Steven Gerrard and, more recently, Jack Wilshere. He has that little drive from midfield that not many have; that’s something I need to keep in my game and get better at.

I started at Handsworth Boys at five or six years old and got scouted by United then, although I had to wait until Under-8s to join them properly. There were always better players than me in the age groups, which helped push me on, although they perhaps didn’t make it because their attitude wasn’t right. I’ve always played above my age group and even at 18, I captained a very young United Under-23 side.

Chris came to the club when I was on my scholarship so I hadn’t really been involved with a first-team set-up before, but in pre-season we were training on the pitch next to them when a player picked up an injury and I was called up to cover.

That was when my heart started racing! Obviously as a player you never want to see a team-mate get injured but it gave me a little chance, and I like to think I took it.

My debut then came in the Checkatrade Trophy at Grimsby, which was a very special moment - especially when I scored. I remember the ball breaking to me and I just thought, ‘hit it’. When it went in, I didn’t know what to do...I’d been dreaming about that moment all my life.

It was my first goal of the season, at any level, and a perfect time to get it.

All the lads were great with me and knew what it meant, especially the younger lads who maybe knew me better. But I never thought I’d ‘made it’ or anything like that. I actually went straight back to the Under-18s afterwards. But it made me want it even more, having got a taste of first-team action.

I knew I wanted to be back there, so gave everything to make it happen.

I absolutely love being captain, too; I had always been jealous of players who had the armband before I got it, because I always thought I’d be a good skipper. It shows you have the respect and trust of the coaches and your teammates, and you have to have it inside you.

In football, you won’t always be 5-0 up on a sunny day and you find out a lot about people when things are going against you. That’s when the team spirit can come into play.

I moved up to train with the first-team around Christmas which helped me get used to the intensity.

After getting my initiation out of the way down at Millwall - I sang ‘Build Me Up, Buttercup’ because it’s the only song I know the words to off the top of my head - I made my league debut at Preston, which I’ll always be proud of even if the day could have gone better for the team.

A lot of people helped make it happen - they know who they are - but mainly all my coaches and my family, who took me to games and training when I was younger and played a huge part.

He’s One Of Our Own: The Story of Chris Wilder’s Blades Revolution by Danny Hall is published by Vertical Editions, priced £11.99.