All good things take time and the same can be said about Port Adelaide midfielder Willem Drew.
The Koroit Saints' export, taken at pick 33 in the 2016 draft, will play his 50th AFL game on Saturday against GWS at the Adelaide Oval. His parents, sister and girlfriend will be in attendance.
The 23-year-old was hampered early in his career with injuries, playing just 10 games across his first four seasons.
Since then he has featured 39 times out of a possible 43 games, becoming a vital cog in the Power's midfield.
"It feels pretty good to play 50 games," Drew told The Standard.
"It has taken a while to get there, I'm into my sixth year now. It was pretty slow at the start there and a bit of a grind.
"I'm happy to get the 50 in and hopefully there's a few more to come as well."
Drew has become renowned for his defensive work in the middle, shutting down a host of the game's superstars across the past two seasons.
The 188-centimetre midfielder said his role changes week-to-week but was happy to do what was best for the team.
Drew is averaging a career-high 18.4 disposals and 4.1 clearances per game this season but said he was still looking for ways to improve his game.
"For me I'm probably trying to find a bit of a balance between offensively and defensively and being able to have a bit more of an impact on games," he said.
Reflecting on the early stages of his career, Drew said it did get "pretty dark".
"You do question whether you're good enough or whether you're capable of playing," he said.
"I'm pretty proud to be able to get through that and then to be able to play some consistent footy over the past few years.
"Those injuries have sort of helped me in my mindset in a way, to keep improving and keep wanting to get better."
After making a preliminary final in 2021, the Power had a tough start to 2022, losing their first five games.
The side has since rallied, winning seven of its next ten matches and are just two wins adrift of the top-eight after 16 rounds.
Drew said it was a "disappointing" way to start the season but now the side is "playing some pretty good footy."
"The group is always going to try and never give in. So we're looking forward to playing the Giants this weekend," he said.
"They play a pretty attacking brand of footy. We're definitely up for the challenge and hopefully we can get a win and play some good footy.
"What we can control is playing good footy and winning as many games as we can and the rest of it will take care of itself."
Outside of AFL commitments Drew has enjoyed following the Hampden League this year.
His beloved Koroit, who he won three senior premierships with, are first on the ladder after 11 rounds.
"Every week I've been keeping an eye on the scores and always watching when I can on the live-stream," he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.