Dream Team champ living it up at World Cup
The winner of the Holden NRL Dream Team competition is a 19-year-old living out the ultimate dream.
Daniel Long won the trip of a lifetime and a handy $25,000 for beating over 150,000 other players in Holden NRL Dream Team.
Long is in Wales to watch the opening game of the Rugby League World Cup between Australia and England.
The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity included the chance to watch the Australian team train at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, get his Kangaroos jersey signed by the entire World Cup squad, visit the team in the sheds, and he and a mate even travelled on the team bus back to the hotel.
Not bad for a kid who just loves his rugby league.
"I watch every game," an excited Long told NRL.com after walking on the famous Millennium Stadium turf.
"I got to meet them all and they were all so nice, got the jersey signed, it is better than I could have ever imagined."
Long hit the front of NRL Dream Team in round 12, but admitted he had some nervous moments towards the end with the prize in sight.
"I had Fifita as captain and it was the final game of the week," he said.
"I think he needed 40 or 50 points, which was easily achievable for him. That would have allowed me to win comfortably. He got injured in the 20th minute.
"I broke down for 24 hours, I thought I had lost – I went into a spiral Dream Team depression, which epitomizes what the game is about, a real emotional rollercoaster."
But his team held firm and Long was the major prize winner.
As for advice for the would-be fantasy players out there, Long says you should keep it simple and trust your instincts.
"The key is to go with your gut," he said.
"If you see a guy who you think is going to improve, just go with it, don't worry what other people say and you will learn eventually who are the best buys are."
Now Long is already looking ahead to the 2014 season and attempting to defend his title.
It is a long way from when he first started playing… he admits he had no clue.
"The first year I played I was 12,000th, I had no idea what I was doing and just traded anyone in."
It gives us all hope for next season.