Ashley Williams is enjoying his time among the Premier League elite, with it having taken him a decade to reach the top of his chosen profession.
The Wales international skippered Swansea to promotion last season and has played a leading role in their bright start to life in the top flight.
Williams is one of those in Brendan Rodgers' squad that is gracing the big time for the first time in their career.
Spells at Hednesford Town and Stockport County have made him all the more determined to succeed at that level, and he has every intention of making up for lost time.
"There are a lot of good players in the lower leagues," Williams told the Sunday Times.
"When I was playing for Stockport I used to think that I deserved a chance higher up but clubs were signing foreign players or people who had dropped down from the Premier League. I'm sure there are players in those divisions feeling the same now.
"There were times when I thought I'd never make it to the Premier League but you've got to stick with it. All the lads here who played in the lower divisions were released by decent clubs and we've all shown strength of character to bounce back.
"Maybe we had a break or two but we had to work hard every step of the way. It has taken me eight years to get here but I'm proud of what I've achieved.
Swans boss Rodgers believes the likes of Williams should have been given a shot at the Premier League before now, with too many clubs reluctant to take a gamble on lower league stars.
He said: "There are a lot of great stories at this football club.
"Some of the players have been on quite a journey. They were discarded by other clubs and now they're showing they can compete with some of the highest-profile names in the game.
"But for me there's also a sense of sadness about it because these are players who are technically gifted and could have had their chance in the Premier League sooner."