Since making the move to Sydney to chase his rugby league dream, Moree's Jock Brazel has thrived.
The 17-year-old shifted to the state's capital at the beginning of 2020 after earning a spot in the Parramatta Eels SG Ball Cup squad.
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and NSW Rugby League competitions were cancelled.
But Brazel stuck around and lined up for Parramatta in the nine-round SG Ball Cup competition this year.
His performances throughout the season in the city-based competition earned him a representative jersey.
Brazel has been named in the Brett Kimmorley-coached under 18s City squad for the City versus Country fixtures.
"I was lucky enough to find out from my mum and dad which was a really amazing experience that I will never forget," he said of learning about his selection.
"I was so excited hearing about the news and it was truly an honour."
The second rower's selection for City is an allegiance switch of sorts, given his country roots in Moree and Group 19.
During his junior years, he played with and against members of the squad he will face on Saturday.
"To once play with the Country team was fantastic but to now line to up against them will also be fantastic," he said.
"It makes me want to win more than ever and I couldn't be more proud to put on the City jersey.
"I love it in Sydney and still feel very grateful for the opportunity I have been blessed with."
He's also excited to learn from former Cronulla, Melbourne, NSW and Australian halfback Brett Kimmorley.
"We go into camp this Wednesday and train at the NSW Centre of Excellence and play Saturday at Bankwest," Brazel said.
"I haven't had anything to do with Brett yet but I am very excited to learn many things from the man that's been there and done that."
And while he's firmly focused on his rugby league career in the city, Brazel has still kept an eye on his old stomping ground.
He was disappointed to hear of the under 19s competition being cancelled this year.
"That's such a shame," he said.
"A lot of the mates were going to play but it's sad not to see it get up and running, it's where it all began for me."
The City versus Country under 18s game will be live-streamed this Saturday from 12.40pm on the NSWRL Facebook page.