Sean Scannell has yet to pull on the flat cap sported by his Huddersfield Town manager and mentor Chris Powell.
But he’s feeling nicely settled among his friends in the North, with return trips to his home of territory of Croydon becoming far less common.
The 24-year-old former Crystal Palace player has flourished since the arrival of Powell, whose intervention prevented a transfer to Championship rivals Millwall late in the August window.
Having started only nine games last season, the figure this time around is set to reach 23 when neighbours Leeds United come visiting.
Scannell signed a new contract in November, committing himself to Town until 2017, with the club having the option of a further year.
And he’s being talked about as a potential Republic of Ireland call-up, having previously been called at Under 17, 18, 19 and 21 as well as B level.
“I’d be very happy if it happened, but the main thing for me is to focus on keeping my performances consistent at club level,” said Holme Valley-based Scannell.
“I feel I am producing the best form of my career, and the gaffer here has played a big part in that. He has taken the trouble to get to know me on and off the pitch. It seems as if we have known one another for ages, not just months, and his belief in me has given me self-belief.
“I’m nicely settled in the area, which helps. When I first signed (in 2012), I used to go home virtually every weekend. Now I tell friends and family to come up here!”
Town are chasing a fourth win in five league games and a third in succession at home, and Scannell added: “We’re all up for it.
“The mood was good even before we won at Wigan last Saturday, and that has given us another boost before the Leeds game.
“We didn’t perform at all, and it was very disappointing. We get how important it is to the fans, and we want to go out and do well for them.”
Town midfielder Ben Holmes has joined Vanarama Conference North outfit Hyde on loan. The 18-year-old Academy player will join the Miles Street club until February 28.