Dudley Campbell might be coming towards the first anniversary of his move to Birmingham City but he remains an advocate of the non-League game whence he came.
In June 2005, he was still playing for Yeading as a part-timer in the Ryman League. Six months later, having enjoyed an interlude with Brentford, he was playing for Birmingham in the Premiership.
Such a rise was common until the advent of the Premiership in 1992 but Campbell, nicknamed "DJ", has no doubts that clubs such as his own should spend more time looking at the talent available in the non-League game.
There are many examples of players emerging from part-time football to win the leading domestic and European honours and even going on to play in the World Cup.
Ian Wright (Arsenal), Jimmy Case (Liverpool), Stuart Pearce (Nottingham Forest), John Aldridge (Liverpool), Chris Waddle (Tottenham Hotspur), Cyrille Regis (West Bromwich Albion) are only half a dozen of those who began in non-League and went on to taste success in Europe or to play international football.
Now that there is greater freedom of movement, particularly in Europe, the larger clubs are more likely to buy ready-made internationals or create their own players rather than dip into the erratic world of non-League football.
But Campbell's view is simple: "There is plenty more where I came from."
In truth, many non-League players began with professional clubs while some choose to play part-time because they have decent enough careers outside the game. So the talent is there. It just needs to be carefully nurtured, with patience and professionalism.
"From my point of view, moving from non-League to Brentford and then to Birmingham, I have been able to follow the progress of players," Campbell said. "There are good players in non-League but a lot of people do not realise that. I think managers are taking a look and sending scouts.
"It is good when players do make the step up because it shows that there are talented players at all levels of the game.
"There are gems in non-League football, if you look hard enough. But the Premiership is a different world. There are world-class players who are paid a lot of money, and they perform to such a good standard."
To have tasted action in all levels of the game in less than two years, Campbell is in a good position to appreciate what it takes to make the grade. He can also confirm that there is a big gap between the Premiership and the Coca-Cola Championship, and a big gap between the Championship and everything else below.
"From non-League to League One, there is not much difference," Campbell said. "But after that, there is a big gap. The lower leagues are much the same. In the Championship, there are a lot of good players. In the Premiership, everyone is a good player."
Campbell has played 28 league matches for Birmingham (11 of them in the Premiership last season) and has scored five goals. His first taste of the big time came in January 2005 when he played for Yeading against Newcastle United in the FA Cup.