Billy Jones is determined to make the most of his move to West Brom, having feared the top flight had passed him by.
The Baggies new boy may only be 24 years old, but admits there was a time when he wondered whether he would ever get the chance to grace the Premier League.
Spells at Crewe and Preston saw him showcase his undoubted potential, but the big time eluded him at every turn.
He finally got his dream move this summer when West Brom snapped him up as a free agent.
Jones has every intention of enjoying every minute of his time at the Hawthorns, with it now up to him to prove that he is deserving of a standing among England's elite.
He told the Baggies' official website: "When I was at Crewe, Dario Gradi told me he felt I was capable of playing in the Premier League.
"But it got quite frustrating playing in the Championship, especially as other coaches were also telling me they thought I was good enough to play in the Premier League.
"I'm only 24 but I've been on the scene since I was 15 years old and, although this sounds crazy, I felt time was running out.
"It was frustrating to hear all these people saying 'I think you're ready'. I was thinking 'will it ever happen'.
"So when West Brom were willing to move in so quickly for me this summer, I was made up.
"There was Premier League interest in me when I got relegated from the Championship with Crewe.
"Maybe the price tag Dario was after, and things like that, stopped that from happening.
"But every year I feel I've improved as a player and I feel I'm ready now. I'm also willing to keep improving under the gaffer.
"I'll be playing in a proven Premier League team, with better individuals, and I think that can only help me improve as a player."