Isaah Yeo's family were over the moon when he played just one NRL match.
Now, they are preparing for his fourth consecutive grand final as the Dubbo junior and his Penrith Panthers chase history on Sunday night at Accor Stadium.
The Panthers will take on the Brisbane Broncos as the former chases a third consecutive title.
From leaving Dubbo as a skinny centre or second rower to becoming one of the best forwards in the world, Yeo's father, Justin said it is crazy to see just how far he has come.
"There was actually a game on TV the other day from five or six years ago and he looks so young and skinny," he said.
"He was playing second row and you were watching him thinking 'he's just another player out there'.
"Even as a kid when he was at school at St John's, he would come down and play for Penrith on weekends so there were a lot of sacrifices he made.
"Even back then it was special for him to just play one first grade game, amongst the family it was so exciting.
"From his debut against Newcastle, I think many years ago to where he is now, he is one of the captains of the club and they've had success.
"He's had rep honours as well so it has been an amazing ride, it's one as a family we will see where it takes us this weekend."
Yeo has gone on to play 219 games for the Panthers as well as 11 games for NSW and five for Australia.
The three-time Dally M Lock of the Year is a crucial part of the Panthers' set-up, with him and Nathan Cleary being co-captains of the side.
Should Penrith win on Sunday, their current crop of talent will go down in history as one of the best teams ever, with no side winning three titles in a row for more than 35 years.
Parramatta were the last side to win three competitions in consecutive years, winning the 1981, 1982 and 1983 titles.
"To be honest, we were thinking it was special when he won his first one," Justin said.
"It's something no one can take away from you, you have your own little bit of history. To get two you just thought 'that is amazing' but to get three, that's what people remember and you are creating a bit of a legacy there.
"We are incredibly proud of him, Amy and I. His grandparents and all of his family are incredibly proud of where he is at.
"As a family, we couldn't be any prouder."
The 28-year-old is engaged to Ash Camenzuli and the pair have welcomed two children into the world.
"He seems pretty happy with everything at the moment, he got the fiancee and two kids, and everything seems to be going along comfortably," Justin said.
"He seems really happy with where he is at, obviously with the football they have been pretty successful, fingers crossed for Sunday."
The 2023 NRL Grand Final will kick-off at 7:30pm.
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