It was only a few short months ago Bradman Best was toiling away in Jersey Flegg.
The barnstorming 18-year-old was experiencing a frustrating season, dropping in and out of the 20s side thanks to a syndesmosis injury in his ankle.
Now, just a few months later, he has NRL experience, game-wide wraps on his obvious talent and a sky-blue training singlet on the way.
Best was one of six nib Newcastle Knights selected in a 64-man New South Wales squad, due to go into camp later this month.
Best: Positions, Future Blues and finding the edge
As overwhelming as it is for the young centre, Best remains focussed on keeping his feet on the ground.
“I’m pretty stoked, it’s obviously humbling to be a part of the Blues because there’s a lot of history there,” Best said.
“To be picked in the Future Blues, it’s exciting times.
“To get that kind of complement from him (NSW Coach Brad Fittler) is great but I just need to keep my head on my shoulders, stay humble and keep working hard.”
While the fact Best will be rubbing shoulders with some of the games biggest names isn’t lost on him, the flyer is keen to take on the camp alongside his Knights teammates.
“I did have a look at the list, Pearcy’s there, big Klem and Saifiti,” he said.
“It’s good but you do have to pinch yourself a bit, and sit back and think it’s pretty crazy, but it’s good.
“It comes back to me doing the little things right and working hard, while making sure the little things are done off the field.”
Pearce excited by Brailey partnership
Alongside the big names of Klemmer, Pearce and Saifiti, Best will also be joined in camp by two other young Knights in Mitch Black and Jonah Pezet.
Both are players full of promise, who each have a big fan in Best.
“Mitchy Black, he’s my age as well and Jonah Pezet’s a younger boy coming through the ranks,” Best said.
“They’re both good players, I’ve played a bit with Mitchy but not with Jonah.
“Mitch is a good player, he’s a great dummy half.”
The obvious appeal of the Blues camp would be enough to distract many, however Best remains firmly focussed on doing what he can to claim a starting jersey come round one.
“All the old boys like Hymel (Hunt) and Tau (Moga) are working just as hard, we all have our goals and we’re all pushing each other as well so it’s good,” Best said.
“Whatever the case is we’re just working together.
We’re still giving each other tips on how to get better and how to improve, but we’re still competing and the efforts always there.”