There were times last week when Matt Burton had to put his phone on aeroplane mode and throw it aside.
Not because he wanted to, he would have loved nothing more to reply to every text and answer every call.
But he couldn't allow himself to be distracted.
"It was non-stop," Burton said of the build-up to his NRL debut.
"I was taking calls and texts for a good two days but I didn't want to get sidetracked just a few days before.
"I had put my phone on aeroplane mode just to get my head right."
The dust has settled in recent days following Burton's stunning NRL debut with the Penrith Panthers, but when talking to the Daily Liberal this week the St John's junior said it was still all a dream.
The 19-year-old wasn't even considered a genuine chance of playing in the NRL at the start of the year but following a number of injuries and James Maloney's suspension, his meteoric rise was capped with a first appearance in the top grade.
He slotted in at five-eighth seamlessly as well, helping the Panthers to a crucial win over the Sharks as the race for the top eight heats up.
But now it's back to reality for the former CYMS star.
Burton returns to the Canterbury Cup this weekend as Maloney returns to the club's NRL side.
"It's been a big few days but it's all settled down now," Burton said.
"But it was a great night and a dream come true.
"Ever since I was young all I wanted to do was crack the NRL."
Few knew Burton's name when the year began but after a man of the match showing in NSW's under 20s State of Origin win whispers of a potential NRL debut began.
The last week was a crazy one for the Dubbo junior as a call from Ivan Cleary told him he was on standby as Maloney headed to the judiciary, and when he was given a one-game ban the NRL coach called again.
That set of the string of calls and texts to family and friends, before the first few training sessions with the NRL squad leading in to the match on Friday night.
There was plenty of nerves during it all, and the enormity of what he was achieving hit Burton in the lead-up to the game as the atmosphere around Panthers Stadium began to crackle.
"It really kicked in in the huddle when the leaders were saying their words," he said.
"It comes to life and to run out to Hells Bells, it sends shivers down the spine. When the crowd erupted it was the best feeling."
Post-game the teams flowed as Burton was mobbed by the army of family and friends who had made the trip to watch the "kid who always had a footy in his hand" crack the big time.
Burton paid an emotional tribute to the memory of Sam Fraser after the match, and said it was "really special" to have such a huge amount of people from his hometown there for the occasion.
He was also eager to thank those coaches and mentors who helped him on his journey, saying he wanted to give them "a special shoutout".
"They all helped me and played a part in getting me here," he said.
"CYMS and St John's played a massive part for me. They were really helpful, guys like Bernard Wilson, Andy Hayock, and 'Jenko' (Luke Jenkins) helped my footy and all helped me.
"They gave me the belief and confidence to get here."
And now he's got a taste, Burton is keen for more.
While he wouldn't go as far as declaring he wants the number six jersey when Maloney departs for the Super League next year, he's determined to keep improving.
"It's definitely some motivation to keep working harder and hopefully one day I can get that starting spot," he said.
"I've just got to dedicate myself and make things bigger and better.
"If the opportunity came up it would be great but I've just got to keep working and I'm happy to play anywhere."