JORDAN RHODES enjoyed Huddersfield Town's victory parade and Civic Reception last night before travelling to Heathrow and flying out to link up with the Scotland Under 21 squad.
It had been thought the 22-year-old striker would miss the club's homecoming celebration in front of thousands of delighted fans, but he was there with the trophy and got one of the loudest cheers when he appeared on the Town Hall balcony.
Now, he will be aiming to add to his six goals in national colours when Scotland Under 21s play a vital European Championship qualifier against Bulgaria on Thursday night.
"It was great how we managed to find a result on Saturday to give the town something to really cheer about and for so many people to turn out and welcome us is fantastic," said Rhodes before heading to the M1.
"This is a fantastic way to finish the season. What's happened is still sinking in and I've just tried to take everything in my stride and treat everything as a normality, to a degree."
Rhodes had 40 goals to his name in Town colours but insisted the credit belongs elsewhere.
"It's all been off the cuff, really, and I would have to thank all the people who have helped me get where I've been," he said.
"I've been playing in a team at Huddersfield where the supply and the work ethic between everyone in the squad has been fantastic.
"It's a dream to play up front as a striker in such a great squad."
Rhodes admitted he was nervous taking his penalty in the Wembley shoot-out against Sheffield United, even though he scored to help Town clinch an 8-7 victory and promotion.
"I was so nervous and so fearful because it's not like stepping up and taking a penalty in a game," he explained.
"Your mentality is different. It's not about wanting to score, it's more about preventing a miss - so it's almost a negative mindset to start with.
"So just to see the ball from the moment it left my foot, seeing the keeper wrong footed and knowing it was going in the opposite direction was a breathtaking experience - not one I've had before."
Rhodes thanked the fans for their backing in the League I play-off final - including all those who couldn't make it to the national stadium - and said he was hoping to enjoy what he described as a "must win" game for the Under 21s
"I'm looking forward to linking up with the Scotland Under 21 squad and to learning from Billy Stark and the coaching staff there," he said.
"It will be good to see the players again and I'm looking forward to the Bulgaria game. It's a 'must win' game for us and hopefully we can do it."