JACK Coghlan-West was thrown a light-hearted challenge at the end of football training on Thursday night.
The task? Kick a goal and you'll make your Hampden league senior debut.
The Koroit wingman, who has toiled away in the club's reserves, embraced the banter, slotted the goal and celebrated his call-up with his proud teammates.
"I honestly thought we were doing goal-kicking practice and then he (coach Chris McLaren) pulls me (aside) and says 'if you kick it, you're in' and everyone went off," Coghlan-West said.
"He was there standing behind me and he said 'I've set this up, you can't miss it, it's going to ruin the whole thing so no pressure'.
"I went back and kicked the goal and the boys got around me. It was really good.
"It's in the back of your mind - I hope I can play a senior game. It is why you train hard and do all the extras.
"All the legends around Koroit and they just make you feel so welcome and you just want to play."
Coghlan-West's debut is a feel-good story. Overlooked for the Saints' reserves grand final team in 2019, he used the next two-and-half years to transform himself into a senior prospect.
"You do your apprenticeship in the reserves and because Koroit has been so successful, you really have to earn your spot," he said.
"I have worked really hard and I wouldn't have wanted to get there any other way."
The Owen Truss employee, 23, said watching grand finals from the sidelines spurred him on.
"It was a great day for the club, winning the two (senior and reserves) premierships but unfortunately I got squeezed out," he said.
"I am a lot different player to what I was then and since that day I have worked hard and got my body right and put a lot of work into my eating habits.
"Missing out, you don't want to get that feeling again."
Koroit will use Coghlan-West's endurance - one of the areas he's improved - on a wing against Port Fairy at Gardens Oval.
"I want to do my bit for the team, that's all I care about. I am in there for a reason so I will stick to my strengths," he said.
"If you had seen me play footy a couple of years ago you'd be thinking 'gee, who is this kid?' But I have really worked hard on my running because to play at Koroit and play the wing role you really have to be able to get up and down the ground.
"You have to run forward but they want you to defend hard as well."
McLaren said picking Coghlan-West was uplifting for the entire club.
"It is probably one of the most popular debuts you'll see," he said.
"He's worked harder than anyone I have ever seen.
"He's completely changed his body shape, he's trained so hard, he does every minute of every extra session and has done for the last two or three years.
"He is an absolute training machine and I think he's been best on ground three weeks in a row in the reserves."
Koroit will also unveil talented teenager Curran O'Donnell against the Seagulls.
"He's an onballer in the under 18s. His clearance work is excellent at under 18 level, obviously that's a little bit harder to do at senior level straight up but he has great pace and is quite elusive so that will hold him in good stead," he said.
The Saints, who have also welcomed back Jack O'Sullivan, will be without midfielder Brett Harrington (Achilles soreness), key forward Sam Dobson (ankle) and utility Tom Baulch (NAB League).
"Brett has had a sore Achilles for a fair few weeks," McLaren said.
"The plan was to get him through to last weekend (for his 250th game) and he's getting podiatry treatment and he's coming good but it will be an unknown.
"It could be one, could be two or three, given we're in a pretty strong position we'll make sure we get him right."
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