It has always been Stephens' ambition to reach the Premier League as a professional, having started at Bury, signed permanently at Oldham and then been shipped out to Rochdale for a bit of experience on loan.
It was at Spotland where he worked under manager Keith Hill and coach David Flitcroft where he really kicked on in his attempts to fulfil his potential.
He told Sky Sports: "I went there with Chris O'Grady at the time, I think it was three months around Christmas time on an emergency loan and I ended up getting really fit, the training was really hard.
"We did a lot of old school training, I knew Flickers from when he was a player at Bury and was coming to the end of his career, so I knew him from before I went to Rochdale. I was there for around three months and that year, they went on to win promotion and I contributed towards that which is a highlight."