England boss Roy Hodgson has praised Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin, comparing him to Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert.
Unlike Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge, who have been touted to be top-class players since the start of their careers, Lambert and Austin earned their football education in the English lower leagues, slowly progressing through the divisions before reaching the ultimate goal of the Premier League.
At one time a steady career in the Football League would have been a dream for Austin, who spent three-and-a-half seasons in non-league football before getting his big break at Swindon Town.
But he took to full-time professional football like a duck to water and in the remaining 33 games of the League One season, the former non-league striker netted a stunning 19 goals. The next year he scored 12 in 21 before earning a move to Championship side Burnley. Now, five years on, the explosive forward has scored a staggering 70 goals in 129 league games.
Austin has scored 12 Premier League goals this campaign, including 10 in his last 12, and has been touted by pundits and supporters alike to be called up by Hodgson when he names his next England squad. The Three Lions manager's latest comments seem to support that hypothesis.
''Charlie is doing very well,'' Hodgson was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
"He's another one who has come through the lower leagues and, a bit like Rickie Lambert, I'm sure people have watched Charlie many times and dismissed him because he doesn't run like the wind.
''You can be a good footballer sometimes without needing to run like the wind and Harry Redknapp has brought the best out of him for QPR.''
An England call-up for Lambert was a huge achievement, considering he was still playing in League One in 2011, but for Austin to receive the nod could act as inspiration to many lower league strikers who may then work that little bit harder.
From bricklayer to international footballer in less than a decade, it would be a great story.