This time last year front rower Albert Vete was still on trial looking to secure an NRL contract with the Vodafone Warriors.
Coming through the club's NYC and New South Wales Cup teams in 2012, 2013 and 2014, he was driven to keep his NRL dream alive.
He did more than that.
Impressing the coaching staff throughout the offseason and preseason training blocks, Vete first earned a one-year deal for the 2015 campaign.
Next up were the trials against Gold Coast and Penrith, Vete doing all the right things to clinch his NRL debut as Vodafone Warrior No 197 in the opening round of the season against Newcastle.
It was to be the first of 21 first-grade appearances in a year in which he also played his first international for Mate Ma'a Tonga against Toa Samoa. By early July his future with the Vodafone Warriors was further secured when he had his contract extended to the end of the 2017 season.
While 2015 ended in disappointment for the Vodafone Warriors it had a positive lining for Vete but, as he eyes his 23rd birthday on Sunday (January 24), the ex-St Kentigern College First XV captain isn't taking anything for granted heading into his second NRL season.
In an interview with Vodafone Warriors TV he said the competition for spots within the squad is ultra intense, putting all players on edge.
While he's doing all he can to be in the best possible shape for 2016, Vete will also pay attention to his university studies.