C ARLO MONTI was once on the verge of breaking into senior football.

He still is. Almost four years have flitted by since his talent took him to the fringes of the first-team at Celtic, yet there will likely have been times when such a reward felt much further removed. He never did emerge from the pack at Parkhead, while the intervening years have brought the 21-year-old tenuous prominence at Morton and a brief sojourn through amateur football, before alighting at Pollok Juniors.

If that all sounds somewhat familiar, it is only because you have heard it before. Only the cast has changed. Playing professional football is a dream all too easy to wake up from, usually with a sense of regret or recrimination. Or both. Monti awoke last summer feeling as though he was suffering a bad hangover; the former Scotland youth internationalist had taken advice to abstain from signing a new contract with Morton. The idea was to foster interest from elsewhere. The result was unedifying.

He has begun to retrace his steps, though. He rediscovered his passion for the game while at Pollok and his performances attracted interest from St Mirren and Hamilton Academical this summer; Monti scored 16 goals in 15 appearances in the juniors at the end of last season to rescue his club's status in the Super Premier League.

That he signed a new contract with Pollok this week seems a little incongruous. Yet his time with the junior side has allowed Monti to mature. His ability was heralded as he rose through the ranks at Celtic, but he was lumbered with a reputation for petulance. He was also charged and later acquitted of assault. Having returned to the role of striker that brought him prominence as a youth, Monti's talents remain brazenly evident, but any sense of indiscipline seems consigned to the past.

"I never felt in any rush to go back senior; I never felt any rush or any pressure for it. I want to prove next season that it is not just a one-off and let everybody see that," said Monti, who was reinvented as a midfielder and auxiliary full-back at Cappielow.

"I've been aware of interest from other clubs and that's great – it's every boy's dream to play professional football and I'm no different. But I'm going to make sure I do things right. Yeah, they might offer me a better wage, but that's not really a big factor for me right now.

"When the time is right I will go back into senior football. I get people saying, 'you're mad not going back senior just now' and stuff, but if I'm good enough just now then I will be good enough in six months."

It was only in the modest surrounds of Pollok that Monti was able to cultivate such self-belief. The experience of last summer still seems raw and was only exacerbated by a sense of betrayal by his former agent. The final months of last season proved emboldening, though, and it would seem likely that he will cut a contented figure in the senior ranks before too long.

"I took a scunnering from football to be quite honest. I've been misadvised before and things didn't work out, but that happens," he said. "It was disappointing to walk away from senior football; it was devastating.

"But you need to come back from things like that and I am determined to do that and prove some people wrong. I want to prove that I'm not the way I'm made out to be."