It's fair to say Jon Flanagan is living out his boyhood dream right now.
The 21-year-old is a first-team regular at his hometown club and is helping them maintain their push at the top of the table.
Meanwhile, off the pitch, his name is being sung on the Kop in recognition of the steadfast performances that evoked memories of Steve Nicol in the mind of his manager, Brendan Rodgers.
Next month will mark three years since Flanagan's senior bow, and it's been a rollercoaster 36 months since that night against Manchester City.
"There have been a few ups and a few downs, but it's been great just being here," he reflected in an exclusive chat with Liverpoolfc.com.
"It's a dream come true for me to just keep playing and keep being in and around the Liverpool first team. Now I'm back in the team and the team is up there challenging, it doesn't get any better.
"I'm just made up to get my chance again and keep pushing on."
If any validation of the esteem Flanagan is now held in by Liverpool was required, one should look no further than the Kop's rendition of his name during the second half of Wednesday's 2-1 win over Sunderland.
Meanwhile, fans on social media have christened him 'Flanni Alves'.
"I've seen a few [nicknames] on Twitter and that, but I'm not looking into it much!," he smiles, coyly.
"I've heard the chant a few times, but I didn't hear it on Wednesday night. I was just concentrating on the game. For the fans to be chanting my name is just unbelievable.
"I'm on top of the world. When you hear the fans chanting your name, it doesn't get any better than that - and to be part of this side, who are going places I think, is massive for me."
The right-footer has operated on both sides of Liverpool's defence, most recently on the left following the return to fitness of Glen Johnson.
In recent matches, Flanagan has made more tackles than any of his teammates.
"It's part of defending, isn't it?," he shrugs. "That's my main objective - to defend first and then get forward. Trying to keep making tackles and win the ball is my game."
Liverpool's deployment of a diamond midfield formation in the last few weeks has encouraged Flanagan to get forward and offer support to the team's attacking forays.
For a player who has made his name in tough tackling and blocking, how does he find the extra responsibility?
"I don't mind it," he considers. "There's a lot of space on the side with the diamond - Joe [Allen] maybe goes inside, or whoever is playing in front. I don't mind, just as long as I'm playing, really.
"It depends on what the manager wants on the day. He'll tell us what formation he wants us to play and then we'll adapt to that. As you've seen, it's been working, so we'll just keep listening to him and doing what he says."
Flanagan had to demonstrate all of his qualities as Liverpool ground out a 2-1 victory over Sunderland at Anfield in midweek.
The Black Cats set up a tense finale, but the Reds were able to hold on for a seventh consecutive win - and one just as satisfying as those grand triumphs over Everton and Arsenal that went before.
Flanagan reflected: "It was a must-win game - we went out and knew we needed the three points to keep the pressure on at the top of the table. We maybe gave away a sloppy goal - I switched off myself - but we fought hard and got the win.
"At this stage of the season, that's what matters. We just need to keep picking up three points and keep the pressure on the other teams in and around us. That's our main objective.
"The manager was made up. He said it was a massive win for us, and now we'll go again on Sunday."
Liverpool were greeted by a guard of honour from fans as the team coach pulled up at Anfield on Wednesday.
Their intention of geeing up the players before the game worked perfectly, confirms Flanagan.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "All of the lads were buzzing, and I got goosebumps on my neck when I saw it. It was amazing and got all of the lads up for the game.
"They've got a massive role to play. They're always there behind us, and massively so now that we're in and around the top of the table. They've been a massive help and hopefully they'll keep going."