In 2016 Ryley Jacks was a full-time carpenter who would train after work during the week and run around for the Sunshine Coast Falcons every weekend.
It was a long way away, literally and figuratively, from the bright lights of AAMI Park.
He may not have known it at the time but his NRL dream was not that far away from being realised.
Jacks had moved back up to Brisbane after spending three years with the Sydney Roosters. He played for the Roosters Under-20s in 2011 and 2012 and spent one year on the NRL list but could not get into a dominant side that would go on to win the 2013 Premiership.
Now three years later he was back playing in the Queensland Cup. To his credit, he remained committed to his craft and it did not go unnoticed.
Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen and Storm development coach Aaron Bellamy were the two advocating for the Club's recruiting team to look at the rock-solid halfback.
"He was quite confident steering his team around the park in the Queensland Cup. You could tell that he could handle the pressure of first grade," Storm Recruitment Manger Paul Bunn said.
"Aaron Bellamy and Triger were really keen on getting him down. He was just a kid that you could just tell was going to go okay."
It was clear Jacks had not taken the easy road, he was a player who had to fight for his opportunities.
He was 23 at the time when Storm recruiters began looking closely at him and had life experiences that a lot of players who enter the NRL system straight out of high school just do not get.
"Those mature players adapt really quickly," Bunn said.
"They might not show the early talent but what they do is know what hard work is, they adapt a lot quicker than the young players who come straight out of school.
"Jacksy had already been down at the Roosters, he knew what it was all about. He knew not to waste his opportunity when it comes."
And he certainly has not wasted it.
Jacks has now played 18 NRL games in his two season in Melbourne, winning 15 of them.
He is a Craig Bellamy kind of player, always willing to work hard, do his job well and be a consistent performer.
Now that the NRL dream is coming true, nobody can deny that Jacks deserves it.
"He has come along really well, they have done a wonderful job with him down there haven't they?" Bunn said.
"He was playing really good footy in the Queensland Cup but there were not too many teams who would give him an opportunity.
"We saw quite a bit in him, we thought he had good game management and could cope with the blistering speed of first grade."