Liverpool youngster Lewis Koumas is enjoying a whirlwind period that has seen a childhood dream become reality.
The 17-year-old is among several Academy players in Jürgen Klopp’s 32-man squad for the ongoing training camp in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany.
Koumas, who is the son of former footballer Jason, has been a regular at Anfield with his dad to watch his Reds heroes, while learning his own football trade in the Kirkby youth set-up.
Now, though, he is very much among those he has grown up idolising as Liverpool continue to step up their preparations for the upcoming campaign.
“I’m buzzing about it. To be honest, it’s been the dream since I was a kid to come up with the first team,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Honestly being here it literally feels like I’m behind a screen. Seeing players I look up to – for example, Luis Diaz, I remember watching him at Anfield last season and now I’m behind him. It just feels crazy, to be honest.
“I got called in with the 21s a week before I was meant to be in, so I was on my holidays. I trained with the first team a couple of times in the week and then the night before I got called up to say I was going.
“When I got told it was just pure excitement, but as it built closer the nerves started to kick in. There’s no hiding place, I think. If you lose the ball or make a couple of bad decisions, they will tell you – but I’m doing well.”
Koumas started pre-season last summer under the watchful eye of Reds U18s boss Marc Bridge-Wilkinson.
Having began as a midfielder, he has now slotted into a striking role on a more regular basis at youth level. It was a move that came about by chance but one he grasped and continued after scoring four times in his first competitive outing last term.
Obviously to come and learn from some of the best players in the world is a good opportunity to be in and around Champions League winners,” he continued.
“I feel for me, I’ve got to come here and show the manager what I can do. And if I do get the opportunity to make my debut, obviously, then it’s to try to score a goal.
“My first-team debut – that’s definitely what I’m looking for. This might be the only opportunity I get, so I need to make sure I take it.”
His father Jason enjoyed a career that saw him reach both Premier League and international level with home nation Wales.
Asked if he has sought career advice, Lewis said: “My dad was a very good player and a lot of people know that. It’s more like if I have a question or something. My dad just leaves me to it and lets me do my own thing.
“But if I have a question, I’ll definitely go and ask him.”