These are exciting times for a young footballer at Liverpool.
And Jerome Sinclair, who turned 18 about two weeks ago, wants to make the most of it.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks as if he's not afraid to hand out chances to youngsters at the club, and Sinclair was the latest to benefit from the manager's belief in the adage that "if you are good enough, you are old enough".
Two years ago, he became the youngest player (16 years and six days) to have played for the Reds, when he came on as a substitute in a League Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion.
During an interview with The New Paper at the Liverpool Academy in Liverpool last week, Sinclair said: "It's something you don't really see at a big club quite so often these days, when they have a manager who is willing to give young players a chance.
"This is a really good time to be here."
"If you play well and show your potential, you know there is a manager who is willing to give you opportunities."
One such player whom Sinclair used to rub shoulders with at youth level, and who has gone up to become a big star, is Raheem Sterling.
Sinclair holds Sterling up as the example for him to follow as he attempts to plot his next breakthrough.
He said: "Raheem is a great role model for all young players around the country.
"He broke into the England scene at 17. All young players will draw inspiration from that and try to replicate the things that he has done."
Sinclair's time may not be that far away.
The highly rated striker notched two goals in a 4-0 victory over Ludogorets in the Uefa Youth League earlier last month.
On Sept 20, he celebrated his 18th birthday with a goal for the Liverpool Under-18s in their 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers.
There have been comparisons made between Sterling and Sinclair, and former Liverpool director of academy and youth development, Frank McParland, had touted him as possibly the club's next big thing.
Sinclair has represented England up to the Under-17 level.
In such circumstances, it is easy for a youngster to lose his focus and succumb to all the distractions, but speaking to him, one gets the feeling Sinclair still has his feet firmly planted on the ground.
After he made his senior debut in the League Cup, Rodgers said: "It is no good being the youngest player and then drifting out of it, but thankfully, he's a good kid."
When asked about the things he had to give up to try to become a professional footballer, Sinclair immediately brought up his family.
He was part of the youth set-up at West Brom during his early days, and he moved to Liverpool with his father when he was 14 to pursue his dream.
But the rest of the family, his mother, sister and four brothers, stayed behind in Birmingham.
Said Sinclair, who scored "a mixture of A-stars and As and Bs" in the UK equivalent of the O Levels, said: "I had to leave my family back home.
"For me, that was the biggest sacrifice, not being with my mother and my brothers and sister on a day-to-day basis, even now." But he is determined to make it worth the sacrifice.
"You never know when your opportunity is going to come. You just have to take it when it does.
"I need to stay fit and healthy and keep scoring goals, to continue to get opportunities to play with the Under-21s, and to start playing for the first team regularly.
"You have to aim high. I want to eventually play at the top level, play in the Champions League, World Cup, European Championships."
These interviews were brought to you by Carlsberg, one of the leading brewery groups in the world and the official beer of Barclays Premier League and an official partner of Liverpool FC.
Name: Jerome Sinclair
Squad No: 48
This article was first published on Oct 2, 2014.
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