When you look at what North Coast Bulldogs under-18 club captain Ty-Jesse Brabant has been through over the last nine months it's no surprise what they've achieved.
He's led from the front, put in the hard work and now will hopefully reap the rewards when the Bulldogs clash with Illawarra South Coast Dragons in the Laurie Daley Cup grand final on Sunday.
A meniscus tear in his right knee was enough for surgeons and physios to express concerns back in December about him playing any role in the junior representative season.
Instead of feeling sorry for himself, the hooker put all his energy into rehab and put hours of extra time in to strengthen the injury.
Taking shortcuts was never an option so when the season started, taking shortcuts was never an option for his teammates.
"I was off doing training by myself ... swimming, gym, rehab, training with the boys ... when you want to get somewhere you've got to push for that extra mile," Brabant said.
When you want to get somewhere you've got to push for that extra mile.- Ty-Jesse Brabant
The coaching staff were so impressed with his work ethic that they made him club captain a few weeks before the opening-round win over Northern Tigers when he was still sidelined.
But the Port City Breakers junior thought the phone call from coach Matt Freebairn was going to deliver some other news.
"It was a bit of a shock actually," he said.
"At the time they were cutting the squad down to 25 and I got a phone call from the coach so I thought I was getting cut for sure.
"Matty said they had come to the conclusion that the coaching staff wanted me to be club captain. I was speechless and I took it with both hands.
"I couldn't believe it happened; why would they want me as club captain?"
I couldn't believe it happened; why would they want me as club captain?- Ty-Jesse Brabant
Brabant admitted there were doubts from numerous people - and himself - about his playing return timeframe and whether it was adequate enough.
"Everyone was telling me to wait because 'you don't want to do it again', but I the surgeon and the physio had given me the all clear so I just need to go and get it done," he said.
"They gave me the opportunity when it came and I'm thankful they saw what I'd been putting in."
The teenager has already experienced grand final disappointment a number of times with the Breakers, but he felt there was something different about the Bulldogs squad.
"I've always lost grand finals for the boys I'm playing with now and we're all bantering between ourselves," he said.
"Everyone says you've got to lose one to get one, but I've lost four of them with the Breakers so hopefully I can get one back.
"We're one more game away."
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