EVERY time Josh Chatfield opens his bedroom cupboard he sees his Koroit premiership guernsey.
It reminds him of one of his favourite football highlights - the day he helped the Saints win the 2018 Hampden league premiership.
Chatfield was just a teenager back then, eager to use the exposure of playing in one of Victoria's premier country competitions as a stepping stone to higher levels.
"It means the world. I haven't really been close to a senior flag since," he told The Standard.
"I have my footy jumper at home and it's just hanging in the cupboard and more often than not when I'm going to put some clothes on it's just sitting there and I will have little flashbacks of that day.
"Dad (Joey) has never won a grand final so I have one over him.
"When the siren went I felt this big tap on my back and turned around and it was him.
"I was not far from the away box at the time. He was the first person who jumped the fence and hugged me."
Now, some five years later, Chatfield is on the precipice of making an AFL list following two seasons at VFL club Footscray.
He would love to soon open that cupboard and pick out his AFL club colours as he embarks on a long-awaited journey as a full-time athlete.
But Chatfield, who is living in Melbourne and working in civil construction, is realistic and keeping his hopes in check ahead of the 2023 national and rookie drafts on November 20-22.
"I think it's a little bit more rewarding, having to work and to do the hard yards for the last five or six years," he said.
"Having life experiences and realising it's a great opportunity, I guess it's a bit sweeter now than if it would've happened when I was 18.
"I don't think I would've taken it for granted but it would mean a lot more now to be picked up as a mature age recruit."
Time has given Chatfield greater understanding of what getting drafted would mean to those around him too.
Family plays a big part in his life and he's remained close to his siblings despite moving away to boarding school in Ballarat for VCE and then remaining in the city to play for North Ballarat.
He now lives in Melbourne with older brother Jackson, 29, while he tries to see dad Joey, step-mum Jess, brother Harry, 12, and sister Frankie, 8, as often as he can in Warrnambool and mum Kirsten Walters, brother Louis, 17, and sister Ruby, 13, in Woolsthorpe.
"Going to boarding school in 2017 and '18 (means) I haven't really lived at home for nearly eight years and most of the support has been through a phone or talking on Face-time," Chatfield said.
"It would mean just as much to them as it would to me, especially Dad.
"He hasn't missed many games throughout my whole playing career since juniors. He's travelled the countryside with me.
"Part of the reason of wanting to get into an AFL program is for them as well.
"The sweeter thing about being a bit more mature is you take more in about what it would mean for other people than just yourself."
Chatfield's stint at Footscray has been particularly exciting for Harry and Ruby who are mad Western Bulldogs fans.
Both play football locally with Harry at North Warrnambool Eagles and Ruby at South Warrnambool with their older sibling more than happy to hand out advice.
He is excited to watch them start their own football journeys.
Chatfield's began when he was living in Hawkesdale and joined Koroit's Auskick program.
He progressed through the ranks with his natural ability eye-catching at local level and earned invites to play for the Boomerangs, an Indigenous squad, on the national stage as a teenager.
GWV Rebels came calling and he joined its Coates Talent League program and ran out for St Patrick's College after joining as a boarder in year 11.
His most recent game for Koroit was the 2018 grand final. He decided to remain in Ballarat after he'd completed school and committed to North Ballarat.
There, despite suffering a lacerated kidney during a match two years ago, he started to pique attention.
Footscray came calling and he earned a spot on the Bulldogs' list for the 2022-23 seasons.
In his second campaign he averaged 11.7 disposals from 19 games, playing mostly in defence.
It was enough to earn an invite to the AFL state combine.
"The first year was a new team, new team, new coaches, playing at a new ground so I was in the backseat a little bit," Chatfield recalled.
"It was a bit of a reality check of how much extra work and how committed you have to be to be really good at the next level and I took that in my stride this year.
"I guess the first third of the year I was not really thinking there was the opportunity to be in the mix to be picked up (and drafted) but after a good couple of games I really stuck at having a good positive mindset for training and recovery and eating well."
Gifted athletically, the 187-centimetre prospect, who battled patella tendinitis most of the season, appeals to clubs because of his versatility.
"I did all my pre-season training in the forward line and that's where I thought I'd be playing and then round one I got thrown into the back line off a few days' notice," Chatfield said.
"I pretty much stayed there for most of the year until some AFL personnel came back whose primary position was as a defender and that's when I got pushed forward again.
"I love the back line. It was a bit of a challenge but I really tried to take it into my stride and it worked out pretty well so I guess I am a defender now."
Getting the best out of himself has been a juggling act with full-time work in civil construction at Melbourne Airport requiring "quite long, physical days".
But Chatfield, who thanked girlfriend Tahnee for her support, is grateful for the outlet and hopes the work ethic helps him earn a chance in the AFL.
"Our boss loves his footy so he's been really supportive about having to take a few hours off or days off (for interstate games)," he said.
"I usually leave my house at six o'clock in the morning and get home around six o'clock at night.
"If I try and do a gym session, it's usually pre-work so just after a 4.30am wake up. It's long days but I hope it's all worth it."