South Sydney forward Chris Grevsmuhl is ready to realise a dream on Friday night when he runs out on to a 1300SMILES Stadium for the first time in a Telstra Premiership fixture.
Grevsmuhl resided in Townsville before his move to Sydney, a move he made from Hughenden as a 15-year-old in hope of increasing his NRL prospects.
An ACL injury was the impetus behind the now 23-year-old heading south to Sydney at the end of 2013, but it's a move which will now allow him to play in front of his friends and family for the first time since his debut in Round 1 last year.
"It's a special one," Grevsmuhl told NRL.com.
"I've never played the Cowboys up there. I played a lot of junior football there but it will be special to run out on to that surface as a first grade player in front of my friends and family."
The opportunity to play against former North Queensland under-20s teammates Michael Morgan, Kyle Feldt and Jason Taumalolo is one he is embracing too – players who he featured alongside in the 2011 NYC grand final.
"I've played with a lot of them and we're all still great friends. It's going to be a good experience playing against them, knowing what they have to offer now and for them realising what they have always had to offer," Grevsmuhl said.
"Being able to grow up with them and watch them become first grade players is pretty special and I'm very excited.
"They have been playing such wonderful football and every player in their squad is playing to the best of their ability at the moment. We haven't been but I know we can play a whole lot better than what we have been," he added.
"I have faith we'll start stringing it together soon and boys will start playing their best football. We haven't been playing too well but everyone is standing up and being very accountable for what is happening. Everybody realises they have to fix up their game."
Set to start his third consecutive game in the back row, Grevsmuhl is also buoyed by the faith shown in him by Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire despite his departure to the Panthers at year's end.
"It's just been about getting game time again for me. I didn't get to play much football at the start of the year so being able to start now and racking up some big minutes is good," he said.
"Hopefully now it's about growing from the opportunities I've been given. I'm going out there to play my best and hopefully it inches us a bit closer to a win. I just have to stand true to what is required and put my best foot forward."