Tottenham Hotspur youngster Jake Livermore has expressed his delight after establishing himself in the Spurs first team this season.
The combative midfielder made 38 appearances for the club in all four of the competitions they competed in, scoring his first senior goal against Hearts in an early-season Europa League qualifier.
Livermore has been with Spurs since his schooldays, rejecting interest from several clubs, including Arsenal, to sign for the team he grew up supporting.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Livermore said: "It had to be Tottenham, it couldn’t have been anywhere else and thankfully, Spurs also wanted me.
"I’m proud to be a Spurs player and when I was 16 and told that they would take me on full-time, I could not have been happier."
The midfielder also spoke of the important role his family played in helping him make his decision.
"I was fortunate that all the family love Spurs, including my father and uncle who were particularly keen. And my mother Heather was a major influence in those early days when she would just tell me to believe, make it happen and be worthy of it when it did.
"So I shared my dream with all of them, and their delight in seeing me get this far makes it even better for me. I’ve always been a confident type of person and I agree that that’s certainly helped me along the way, but you still need people behind you and I’m glad that I was able to justify their belief."
Livermore has had to wait patiently for his chance in Harry Redknapp’s team, having endured several loan spells at various clubs throughout the Football League.
This season has been an undoubted breakthrough for the player, however, and he has signalled his gratitude for the opportunities that have come his way.
"When you’re growing up you have so many friends and players you’re playing with who don’t make it and it’s difficult because you sometimes think that you’ll be one of them," he said.
"But I owe a lot to my family to keeping me going and keeping me strong."
By Ben Rasmincomments