A lot of personal sacrifices need to be made in order for a youngster to flourish and develop into a professional player.
In the case of uncapped Tanjong Pagar United FC defender, Delwinder Singh, he would not have continued his football development had it not been for his family.
The affable youngster said: "My love for soccer started as young as five when I used to kick around at my dad's work place. My dad and his colleagues used to have kick-about sessions and I would join them."
Juggling studies at Republic Polytechnic and being part of the national team set-up means Delwinder has little time left on his calendar, but he remains unfazed and was delighted when told of the news that he has been called up for national team duties against Thailand, China PR and Iraq and he attributes this to the three senior figures in his family.
"First of all it has to be my dad, my mum and my brother. They have never given up on me despite me not doing well in my studies on several occasions but that passion and drive my family had in me constantly motivated me to do well in all aspects of life not only football but majority of it being football." said Delwinder.
Still trying to accept the dream of being called up by Lions coach Radojko Avramovic for the first time back in May this year, he recalled how he came to know about the news and what happened soon after.
"I received the news from my club coach Terry Pathmanathan during training. He pulled me aside and gave me the unexpected news which left me stunned for a couple of minutes before I managed to come back to reality. I was shocked yet excited because it has always been my childhood dream to play for Singapore and don the Lions' red jersey with pride."
His joy of a senior call-up derived from the mental agony he suffered in 2009 when a broken leg made him question where his future lies.
Reminiscing the past 24 months, he added, "I have represented Singapore since the age of 14 for various tournaments and was called up into the NFA squad right after.
"Back in 2009, I was devastated when I was diagnosed with a broken foot which kept me out of the game for eight months and it all seemed bleak until coach Terry called me at the start of the year, asking if I was keen to play for his team, Tanjong Pagar United FC and I jumped at the chance and never looked back since."
Fast track time to August and we have a confident young man who has the experience of being part of the squad that made history by getting past neighbours Malaysia to secure a second successive appearance in the FIFA World Cup Asian Zone Round Three qualifiers.
Nervousness caught up with him on the first day of training with the national team but he has gotten used to trading tackles with the experienced heads like Isa Halim and Shi Jiayi.
He added: "I was the youngest in the squad and had the least professional experience with only six months of S.League under my belt. And having to come face to face with big names like Daniel Bennett, Aleksandar Duric and Lionel Lewis was nerve wrecking but as time went by, I slowly got into the groove of things and the fear went away."
Like any young defender, Delwinder models his game after a senior player and he named Bennett as the man he looks up to.
"Daniel Bennett's composure and command he gives to his team just makes him unique and outstanding in every game he plays. I still have a lot to learn from him but surely as each training progresses I'll learn more and further develop myself with the things taught to me alongside him." chirped the Tanjong Pagar man.
And with a straight face, he paid tribute to the officials who have helped him carve a possible future in local football and made
"I would be nowhere without all the coaches who have groomed me till date like coach Terry, Noor, Salim, Donald and many more.
"Every coach is unique and has his own coaching styles. Coach Raddy is a coach who always gives a sort of assurance to the players by believing in them. He is a very detailed coach who makes it easier for the players to understand the game and what to expect and constantly be ready for anything thrown at us as a team."
As for his first-hand experience of walking out to a full-house crowd of 85,000 Malaysian fans at the majestic Bukit Jalil Stadium, Delwinder takes it all in his stride.
"Having sat on the bench in front of 85000 people and that being my first experience, I was definitely very nervous and scared but it has helped me to expect what is in store for me in the coming years where I hope to be part of the national team plans."
It will be a wonderful day for the Singh family when Delwinder finally gets the nod from Coach Raddy to get on the pitch and claim his first international cap. And like his usual calm persona, he will most definitely get out there and do a fantastic job.