Will Chambers did not quite know what was in store for him when he arrived in Melbourne as a wide-eyed, 18-year-old kid back in 2006.
Having originally grown up in the Northern Territory, this city was a different world to the one Chambers was accustomed to.
The man selected to help him adapt to Melbourne life was Cooper Cronk, who at the time was just starting to carve a place for himself amongst the NRL’s elite.
Chambers moved in with Cronk and from there the two of them just clicked. Fast-forward 11 years and their time as teammates is now coming to an end.
This Saturday night will be Cronk’s last home game before finals, giving the Storm centre time to reflect on the impact the Melbourne No.7 has had on him.
“He has been a big mentor to me,” Chambers said.
“He is the ultimate professional as everyone knows but he is kind hearted. Any new player that comes down here, he takes them out to dinner and gets to know everyone.
“Cooper is a kind-hearted person, he is great to have at this Club. It will be a sad day when he walks out but he has left a great impression on the place.”
Living with Cooper Cronk, you could imagine the wisdom a player of his caliber would be able to share.
Their time as housemates helped Chambers to lay the foundations for his own distinguished career.
“He taught me a lot of habits,” Chambers said.
“I was an 18-year-old kid learning my trade and he taught me a lot of things about being professional and enjoying your job.
“Cooper turns up every day with a smile, he loves rugby league. That is one thing I took away and tried to use in my career.”