He’s ripping it up for Perth Glory in the Hyundai A-League right now but it wasn’t that long ago Jake Brimmer was lining up alongside his idol Steven Gerrard with Liverpool.
“Seeing my name next to his [Gerrard’s] on the team-sheet before walking out is something I’ll never forget,” Brimmer said.
“It was a big deal. I was nervous at first as it was one of my first experiences with the first team squad, but just like everything at Melwood and Kirkby [Liverpool's training bases], it’s surreal and then it just becomes a reality.
“His [Gerrard’s] determination and drive was second to none. No matter who he was playing against, or if there were youth boys in there, he just gave it his all every time and he was always welcoming to the younger players. He was up for a chat no matter who you were.
“His professionalism was another big lesson; he’s always got a water bottle in his hand, for example. It's all the little things he does that make him the most professional player I’ve ever played with.”
Brimmer spent three years playing with the Premier League club’s youth side after he was spotted as a 15-year-old playing in Victoria.
It was an eye-opening experience for the teenager moving across the other side of the world, away from all his family and friends.
But he soon warmed to life in Merseyside and training alongside the likes of Gerrard, and Brazilian stars Brazilian stars Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino soon made it all worthwhile.
“There was always such a great atmosphere at the club, everyone wanted to learn and make it to the top level," Brimmer recalled.
“Each training session had great intensity, everyone gave it their all because we all knew that at any time you might get the chance to go up and train with the first team.
"The pace and the quality of the players around you was immense, especially in terms of the technical side of the game with their awareness and pressing, so you have to adapt quickly.”
Now in Perth with the Glory Brimmer, known for his lethal set-piece ability, has settled in nicely in Kenny Lowe’s midfield.
The Australian youth international is keen for a bumper Hyundai A-League campaign with the hope of impressing Caltex Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou.
“Combined with the great things I’d heard about Perth Glory and Kenny Lowe, becoming a Socceroo is one of the main reasons I’ve come back to Australia," said Brimmer, who has represented Australia at U-16, U-17 and U-20 level.
“To get under the eye of Ange [Postecoglou] is really important for me because the World Cup is around the corner and you never know, one good season and all of a sudden you could be there in Russia. So I’m determined to give it my all.
“I can’t wait to play some first team football and to play consistent games, so hopefully I can impress the manager and impress Australia as I start fresh.”