As a 16-year old on his first senior pre-season tour, you’d forgive Cameron Humphreys for being slightly intimidated by some of the footballing luminaries he’s calling teammates in Australia.
He smiles: “It’s good for me to be the youngest here because that just means I have the most people to look up to.”
As a classy, ball-playing centre-back, Cameron doesn’t have to look too far for role models on the Gold Coast.
Humphreys has met the first-team skipper before but, now he’s able to watch Kompany at close quarters, he’s taking detailed notes.
“It’s easier to settle in when you know people already here – I’ve known Brandon [Barker] and Evo [George Evans] for a while. I’ve also spoken to Kompany a couple of times at games before, so that’s good.
“I’ve watched him and have noticed he always take the lead in everything he does – even if it’s just running around the pitch, he’s always in front. He’s a leader and he’s someone I really look up to.”
Humphreys was named Players’ Player of the Year at the 2014/15 Academy Awards Evening last week.
The youngster is especially proud of the award as it was voted for by his teammates.
He explained: “It was good to think that my teammates think I played well last season and that the hard work I put in came off and now I’m here.
“It’s extra special to win Players’ Player of the Year as it’s your teammates who chose it and they think you’ve deserved it.”
That award kicked off a whirlwind week in the life of the under-18s defender leading to a 21 hour to the Gold Coast with the first-team.
In his own words: “I was out having some food in town when [EDS Team Manager] Marc Boixasa called me to say that I was on the list for the first-team.
“I was shocked – I couldn’t believe it until I was actually training with them the other day.
“My Auntie actually cried when she found out I was coming away with the first-team but everyone has just been really nice, saying how proud they are of me to have this opportunity.
“It’s been good so far, it’s been tiring because of the flight and training’s been hard but it’s good.
“It’d be great to have my debut out here with the first-team. We all saw what George Evans did against Toronto and it’s inspiring – it shows there are opportunities and spurs us all on.
“Obviously I’m not likely to be scoring from 30 yards as a centre-back but to just get some minutes for the first-team would be great!”
Humphreys has been on a succession of youth trips with the Club before but he’s finding out that pre-season with the first-team is a completely different experience.
For example, on his way to this interview, he was asked for pictures from fellow hotel residents – a first, according to the defender.
“Football-wise it’s a lot quicker, you need to think faster which can bring the best out of you,” he said.
“In another way, the hotels are different, the facilities – you’ve got to use what we have to your advantage and the maximum out of it.
“When I was walking through Manchester Airport the other day, we saw all the paparazzi and that was new to me.
“Being around the hotel is different than on a youth trip as you get asked for pictures more and stuff – it’s a different experience, when you play for a youth team no-one really knows who you are.
“I’ve never really been asked for a picture or an autograph before, so that was weird - then it happened twice in quick succession!”
If the youngster can get his first senior minutes in the upcoming friendlies and keep up his rapid ascension through the youth ranks at the club, he might just have to get used to being asked for his picture.
City on Tour 2015, supported by visitabudhabi.ae.