Bombala junior Ky Rodwell has experienced both the highs and lows of a rugby league career.
Now, he's gearing up for his biggest moment on Friday night as he runs out for his NRL debut with the Parramatta Eels against the Penrith Panthers.
Rodwell will start on the interchange bench for the clash against the Eels' arch rivals, the culmination of almost four years in the NRL system.
He originally signed with the South Sydney Rabbitohs back in 2017, and was part of the club's NRL list in 2020 before unfortunately being let go at the end of the season.
He had a brief stint with Wests Tigers, but has now found a home at Parramatta.
"I ended up with a good opportunity here (at the Eels), and I've grabbed it with both hands," Rodwell said.
"I really enjoy it here, everyone's really close. I've been pretty good mates with Sean Lane, but everyone hangs out with each other, it's something I love about this club."
I feel like the whole town (of Bombala) will be proud of me, not just my familyKy Rodwell
Rodwell found out he would be playing first-grade on Tuesday morning.
"Brad (Arthur) came in before our video sessions and told me I'd be making my NRL debut," he said.
"There was a bit of excitement after he told me, but I'm really grateful as well to be able to achieve something I've worked for for a very long time.
"I'm trying not to overthink it and treat it like another game of footy - it's a great opportunity to play against some of the best forwards in the game, but I haven't really got nervous just yet."
Rodwell texted his mum just after he found out, but then spent a few hours training and had "no access to his phone".
"I gave everyone a call after my training, and they were all extremely happy for me," he said.
"Mum tried to stay strong for me on the call, but my sister told me afterwards that she cried.
"I feel like the whole town (of Bombala) will be proud of me, not just my family. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've been given, and there are so many people back home who helped me get to this stage, I can't thank them enough."
Rodwell has had an extremely successful junior career to this point, including playing under 20s State of Origin in 2018 and 2019, and winning a gold medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games, also in 2018.
He had his first taste of NRL football in a preseason match with South Sydney in 2019.