Dom Thomas insists the mercurial Stephen Dobbie was his ideal mentor at Queen of the South.
Now the student is determined to become the master.
Thomas (23) enjoyed two separate loan spells with the Dumfries outfit in 2017 and 18 and has nothing but praise for the Queens talisman, lauding his talent and nurturing style with the younger players at the club.
However, sentiment will be put to one side at Palmerston this afternoon when Thomas returns in the colours of Dunfermline.
“I spent a loan spell down at Queens and I relished the chance to get back playing football again,” said the combative midfielder.
“The manager may have changed but there are still a few boys I know well down there. I’m hoping they don’t fancy giving me a wee kick on Saturday!
“I still keep in contact with Stephen Dobbie, in particular. He’s a brilliant, experienced player and it is always good to be able to chat to a guy like that and learn from him.
“He’s a wonderful forward and has proven that over the years, scoring goals, creating chances and he really is a joy to watch sometimes.
“He was great, on and off the pitch, for the full team at Queen’s. He has a wealth of experience in football and was always great with the lads coming through.
“I was a younger player when I went to Queens on loan and he was brilliant with me. I learned so much from him, whether in training or on match days.
“I’ll just be hoping he has a rare off-day.”
Thomas has immediately hit the ground running since arriving on loan from Kilmarnock, turning in a man of the match showing in the Pars’ 2-0 triumph against Dundee last Friday night.
He has swiftly filled the boots of fellow Rugby Park midfielder, Greg Kiltie, who was recalled by boss Alex Dyer earlier in January.
“Greg’s a great player, has a great attitude and when he was given a chance at Kilmarnock I felt he did well,” continued Thomas.
“Hopefully he goes back to Killie and gets his chance – because I’m sure he’ll take it.
“I think I’m a different player from Kiltie, so I’ll just come here and play my own game. But as far as I’m aware he did well here so, in that regard, I’ll try do match that or do even better.
“I’ve got 18 months left on my contract at Kilmarnock, I just signed a new deal last summer, so I’ve got some time left. But the important thing was to get out, play some games and impress.
“You never know what is round the corner so you need to keep pushing, impressing and who knows where that will take you?”
And Thomas is acutely aware that shining in Dunfermline’s promotion push would be the perfect way to catch Dyer’s eye – or even attract suitors elsewhere.
The Pars’ comprehensive win over Dundee not only halted a run of five successive league defeats, it took them to within one point of the playoff places.
It was a performance which Thomas believes should set the standard for the remainder of the campaign.
“That win last week took us just a point behind Dundee, who are in that playoff position – that’s our incentive going forward,” he added. “We are looking at this playoff spots and getting as high as we possibly can.
“Before I came here there was a bad run of results – five defeats on the bounce – but the players all wanted to put that right and I think we did that convincingly against Dundee.
“That’s the standard set for the rest of the season now. We want to raise the bar every week and get better and better.”