Before the bright lights of Suncorp Stadium came calling, Cameron Crestani was terrorising everyone in his path as a teenager on the pitches of Stanthorpe and Toowoomba in the South-West Queensland competition.
Now the teenage defender is carving up seasoned professionals in the A-League.
But like any young footballer there were times when doubts bubbled to the surface, questions as to whether the dream was still within reach, whether an opportunity would ever come his way, or even if the sacrifices that those around him had made were all in vein.
"I have seen four coaches go through my five years at the Brisbane Roar youth and you definitely don't know what the next coach is going to think of you," Crestani said.
"There are times when you think 'look I'm not sure if I am going to get this opportunity' but you have to always prepare yourself for in case you do."
At 19, Crestani has chalked up a number of appearances for the Roar in both the A-League and Asian Champions League.
But it was a fortunate set of circumstances that got the ball - for his professional football career - rolling.
A ball he is hoping will not come to an abrupt stop.
"I was just focused on doing my own thing then a few injuries popped up and all of a sudden, there I am playing first team football," he said.
"In the next couple of months I am hoping to seal my future here at the club (Brisbane Roar) and get a contract with the A-League squad.
"If that doesn't happen I will have to look around but I am trying to develop as a player first and foremost."
Very few kids from the Granite Belt make it past the fields of Toowoomba to the top level of the game.
But Crestani is a prime example of how far drive and commitment go to making a dream a reality.
A dream he said he hopes to repay his parents for one day.
And the former Stanthorpe Redback had some words of encouragement juniors in the region who think professional football is unattainable.
"It was only after my debut at Suncorp when I saw my family that I realised 'this is happening'," he said.
"Getting a phone call from my parents after my debut put a smile on my face, just hearing the enjoyment in their voices.
"If you've got the drive and the heart to do it - as well as the support around you - never stop trying, never stop chasing your goals no matter what happens."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.