MOST of us tend to wind down at this time of year but Daniel Bowles will be working harder than ever this week.
The former Toowoomba junior made his A-League debut last Friday night in Gold Coast's 3-0 win over Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.
It may have only been a brief cameo as he came on as a substitute in the 90th minute but it is a moment Bowles will never forget.
"It was awesome to finally make my debut," he said yesterday.
"I got on for about the last five minutes. It wasn't much but it was good.
"I only got one touch. (But) it was a big milestone."
Having got a taste of A-League action after three seasons in the National Youth League with Brisbane and the start of this season in the Gold Coast youth side, Bowles is now keen to stay at Australia's top level.
The 20-year-old defender is hoping to have a strong week at training in a bid to convince coach Miron Bleiberg to again pick him in his match-day 15-man squad.
There is added incentive for Bowles to want to retain his spot in the squad given Gold Coast's next game is a Boxing Day M1 derby against his former club Brisbane.
Bottom-placed Gold Coast and Brisbane may be at opposite ends of the ladder but after the 3-0 win over Adelaide and the Roar's fourth-straight loss last weekend, Gold Coast will be keen to knock off their northern neighbours. And Bowles would love to be part of the Boxing Day battle at Skilled Park.
"I've just got to have a good week at training this week and keep banging on the door and hopefully I'm in the coach's plans," he said.
"It would be fantastic. I've watched the fixture many times from the stands."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.