CARLTON recruit Sam Petrevski-Seton says he "wouldn't have a clue" where he'd be without the guidance of the mentor he's had since he was a kid.
That man is Phil Collins, a former deputy principal at Halls Creek High School in Western Australia's far north, who helped and encouraged Petrevski-Seton's move to Perth four years ago.
Growing up in the Kimberley, the gifted midfielder spoke the local Kriol language, and with the blessing of Petrevski-Seton's family, Collins provided one of the state's best footy talents with vital assistance in his move almost 3000km south to further his schooling and eventually play with WAFL club Claremont.
Now, Petrevski-Seton is an AFL player after the Blues selected him with their first pick, and selection six overall, in Friday's NAB AFL draft, and he told AFL.com.au that if he had stayed in Halls Creek, he's not sure where his life would have taken him.
"He saw me from knee height and took me under his wing," Petrevski-Seton said.
"He's played a big role in my life, especially off-field down in Perth, where he helped me adapt to city life with things like catching public transport to training, and learning how to speak standard Australian English.
"Whenever I needed him he put his hand up.
"I was a really shy kid, the only word I could get out of myself was 'yeah', and that’s how I would answer people.
"But I progressed with each training session, each week, and each year I spent in Perth.
"I moved there for a challenge and now that I've ticked that box, I see moving to Victoria as my next big challenge in life."
Fremantle would have had their eyes on the WA boy but the Blues swooped two picks before the Dockers could get to the table, and Petrevski-Seton couldn't be happier.
He'd already publicly stated that he wanted to be taken by a Melbourne club, and after landing at one of the league's 'Big Four' he's now ready to make an impact next year.
"I'm ready to fight for my spot in the team," he said.
"There'll be challenges along the way but hopefully one day in 2017 I'll get my opportunity to represent Carlton on game day.
"I'm ready to get stuck in and that’s another dream to achieve, to put that guernsey on.
"I feel so grateful that the Carlton Football Club had trust in me, and I'm just excited and rapt to be in the AFL system."
Halls Creek's latest hero said he's been inundated with messages of support from his hometown, and he's already converted his big family, which is good news for Carlton's membership team.
"They're Blues supporters now, there's no doubt about that," he laughed.