Late last year Bayden Searle confessed he hadn't expected to progress as fast as he had the Newcastle Knights.
It was only after the 2018 Group 11 season the St John's junior made the move to the Hunter to link up with the Knights' under 20s side.
But he's caught the eye of Knights hierarchy since then after after earning the chance to train with the club's NRL side in the off-season he was rewarded with a spot in the club's squad for this week's NRL Nines tournament.
"It's been a pleasant surprise but I know there's heaps to work on," he'd said last year, with Monday's selection no doubt adding to that feeling.
As Searle said last year, he's eager to keep developing and lining up with a youthful Knights's squad in Perth will no doubt help that happen.
Kangaroos representatives Aidan Guerra and Sione Mata'utia headline the Knights' squad, while the return of Kurt Gidley has proven hugely popular with Newcastle fans.
Gidley left the Knights in 2015 and spent two season in Super League before retiring.
The Origin and Kangaroos utility will provide a wealth of experience for the likes of Searle to benefit from.
And, ironically, it was another Dubbo product who played a major role in Gidley agreeing to put the boots back on.
"I was excited for the opportunity, but I wanted to make sure there was a couple of other old boys playing within the tournament," Gidley told NRL.com.
"I rang 'Bobcat' - Andrew Ryan - and we had a gentlemen's agreement that if I played, he'd play, and vice-versa.
"We're both passionate about the clubs that we played for and we're very grateful to be able to pull on the jumper again."
Gidley added the chance to be around the club's up-and-comers was another reason to return to the squad.
Searle's selection also added to the impressive amount of Group 11 and Western Rams products who play in Perth.
The Penrith Panthers' squad features Dubbo duo Matt Burton and Kaide Ellis as well as Wellington's Brent Naden and Parkes junior Billy Burns.
Burns' former Spacemen teammate Darby Medlyn was named in the Canberra Raiders' squad.
Naden also won't be the only Wellington product playing in Perth as Blake Ferguson was named in the Parramatta squad and Tyrone Peachey will be in action for the Gold Coast Titans.
Andrew Ryan is another St John's junior and he'll be part of a Bulldogs side coached by fellow Dubbo product Dean Pay.
As well as that, Coonamble's Jesse Ramien has been named in the Cronulla squad alongside Bathurst junior and some of bush footy great 'Bubba' Kennedy, William Kennedy.
There could be more Western Rams to feature yet, with not all squads confirmed at the time of print.