Kevin van Veen was not tempted to drink with a crowd of bleary-eyed Motherwell fans that greeted him off the team bus like a king after last month’s draw at Rangers.
However, the Dutchman is committed to getting the beers in if the squad continue their promising start through to the end of the season.
“The gaffer was there so I needed to be on my toes and not do anything stupid,” he jokes.
“But if we have a good season we will be happy to have a proper party and I will buy some beers for everyone, not an issue.
“Everyone had left the car park and I was still there for at least another 15 minutes, they didn’t let me go.
“I had my song blasting in my ear, but I don’t mind any of that. It’s up to me now to give them something to be excited about and get them off their seats.
“I’ll always make time for the fans. I never ignore them, it’s how I’ve always been. I’m really appreciative from my side. Everyone wants to be loved and I couldn’t wish for anything more.”
It goes without saying that Kevin has had to work the hard way to become a fan favourite at the clubs he has turned out for.
The Eindhoven-born man has had a career that has spanned from a heart-breaking release at boyhood club PSV, to being a part-time plasterer while banging in the goals in the Dutch second tier.
And Kevin feels his unconventional route into the full-time professional game has shaped his personality both on and off the pitch.
“Nowadays kids earn so much money and lose the value of what life is about,” he says.
“They work hard for it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s different from being ice cold while doing a 12-hour plastering shift.
“It’s who I am. I am one of the most down to earth people you’ll meet. I’ll never forget where I come from.”
Kevin’s football career started at PSV, the club he supported as a boy and still supports today.
If that was not good enough, our number nine was also coached by his idol Ruud van Nistelrooy.
With well over 400 career goals to the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man’s name, he proved quite the mentor.
And while Kevin was coached by a footballing legend at club level, he also played with future superstars at national team level, even if he did not know it at the time.
“At the Dutch Under 15s I played with Memphis Depay, Virgil Van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum,” Kevin says. “The funniest bit about that is I was starting over them in that team.
“But at PSV my striker coach was van Nistelrooy. I really looked up to him, but he was so normal and down to earth. It was a privilege to work with him and I learned so much, we all did because we scored so many goals when he worked with us.”
Kevin’s dream of securing a professional contract at PSV was brought to a crushing end in his late teens, as the Eindhoven club opted to release the striker due to a lack of height at the time.
The forward was devastated to the point he decided to throw the towel in on the prospect of playing professional and instead chose to play at amateur level with friends and family, but he also required money in his pocket.
After a jolt from his father to get involved in some proper work, Kevin swapped the day-to-day life as a youth team footballer for the glamourous life as a plasterer, something he continued doing all the way through his career in the Netherlands until his move to England.
“When PSV told me to leave my dream was broke in two,” Kevin recalls. “My whole young life was there, between training and the private schooling they set up.
“I was plastering at same time as playing amateur, training twice a week at night then plastering the whole week – starting from 6am and working sometimes until 7pm. I started to get recognised by scouts, but I didn’t even want to go professional.
“I had so many enquiries, but I said no because I just wanted to play for fun and do a normal job. When I eventually turned professional I still plastered, I couldn’t let it go.
“Every year I was making a step up, scoring 20 goals a season, and before I knew it I could sign for clubs in the English Championship, League One, Bundesliga and Azerbaijan. I held out so long in my decision then ended up signing for Scunthorpe.”
Kevin made the move to Scunthorpe in 2015, where he played under current Motherwell boss Graham Alexander.
Kevin was coined with the nickname ‘Budget Bergkamp’ by the fans for his eye-catching displays at the club, and an impressive goal return attracted interest from the Chinese Super League in 2017.
A mooted fee of £4m was knocked back for the Dutch striker, with Scunthorpe reportedly holding out for an offer twice as much.
“I wanted to punch the wall,” Kevin says as he reflects on a whirlwind time in his career. “£4m for me? I would drive myself anywhere for that.
“Even though I had a great season, it was unbelievable money. Scunthorpe thought there was more to get, but I think the Chinese club might’ve been offended by that.
“I wouldn’t say there is bad blood between the Scunthorpe chairman and myself, but I do think, what if? What if it did work out and they got it over the line?”
Kevin’s six-year stay south of the border came to an end this summer after an injury-hit season last term.
The striker had offers on the table from his homeland, England and “tropical clubs”, but instead opted for Costa del Well, a decision he has “zero regrets” about after reuniting with his previous manager.
“There was a lot of interest elsewhere,” he says. “But when I spoke to the gaffer it pulled me over the line. I’ve worked with him and Chris [Lucketti] before and I wanted to do it again.
“We were successful together. I know what they want and demand and I know what I need to do to get in the team. Straight away I’ve had a connection with everyone. We are a really compact group, there are no bad apples.
“We’ve had a good start, but as a team we need to keep pushing as hard as we can. If we can do that I really fancy us to have a very good season, but it’s down to us to work hard and get results.”