Four years ago, Daniel Lloyd was an apprentice carpenter, preparing to watch the AFL Grand Final with his teammates in the Killarney Vale clubhouse on the NSW central coast.
Fast-forward to 2019, and the GIANTS' forward will be popping up on the big screen at the Bombers' headquarters in tomorrow's decider against Richmond at the MCG.
Lloyd's remarkable rise, after being plucked from the Black Diamond League by GIANTS assistant coach Mark McVeigh at the 2015 NAB AFL rookie draft, is what footy is all about.
A talented junior who held a scholarship with the Western Bulldogs in his junior days and represented his state, Lloyd was a star at Killarney Vale, known for kicking bags of goals.
Nine in a semi-final in front of GIANTS officials helped seal the deal, but while his offence gave him a shot at the AFL, the other side of his game will be where he earns his match payment against the Tigers.
Lloyd could saddle up to All Australian half back Bachar Houli or intercept machine Nick Vlastuin at the opening bounce, and it's a challenge he told AFL.com.au he believes he's ready for.
"Coming up against such decorated players, I get excited by that," he said.
"I don't mind that some of them might not know who I am and might underestimate me.
"That spurs me on."
Lloyd's 38-game career has been a family affair. His wife Crystal works at the GIANTS, with the pair raising their two young kids in Sydney away from their families, who are still up the coast.
"It's been an enormous amount of work for me, and a lot of sacrifice from my wife and kids," he said.
"I think me playing this weekend is great reward for them more than anything.
"I get the reward because I get to play game every week, but my family doesn't get that, and when the hard times come for me, they come for them.
"Crystal has been a massive support and never second-guessed the decision to come here and has never looked back.
"I had a really special moment with her after the game last week, and I hope that paid her back for everything she's given up.
"If we can beat Richmond it will be even more special."
John Pidgeon coached Lloyd – and McVeigh – at Killarney Vale for three years, and will be at the MCG to see his former goalkicker play the biggest game of his life.
He told AFL.com.au that the Lloyd's story is one of true love, support and perseverance.
"Daniel had elite hands and was elite by foot, but he wasn't really committed to playing footy," he said.
"He just wanted to have fun with his mates and got by on natural talent.
"I think it was about the time he got together with Crystal that he started to focus.
"I think she straightened him out and got on his case about not wasting his talent.
"Obviously he had his doubts (when the GIANTS showed interest) because he didn't nominate for the draft and it came from left field.
"But when he realised he had a second chance, he grabbed it with both hands.
"It's a credit to him for the work he's put in and it hasn't been easy, but he's playing like he belongs."
Lloyd said the staggering differences between kicking goals for Killarney Vale and taking on Richmond for an AFL premiership on the biggest stage in the game aren't lost on him.
"I was the typical old-school country full-forward, and there would have been maybe 100 people at games, not even that," he said with a laugh.
"Most of those were regulars drinking tinnies on the logs.
"This week there could be 100,000 fans at the MCG, so I'm pinching myself."