IT WASN'T Kane Cornes' pet event, nor was it a race, but when Karl Amon worked past him on a Dubai training run in November it was a signal: the youngster was making his move.
Amon was Port Adelaide's star performer on the eight-day camp, after specifically targeting it as an opportunity to make a statement as he eyed an AFL debut in 2015.
And his statement was emphatic. The 19-year-old's performance in the Middle East drew praise from teammates and coaches, including director of coaching Shaun Hart.
Hart said the young wingman had bucked the trend of second-year players and "jumped in a big way", setting himself to possibly "play some quality senior football" this year.
Speaking to AFL.com.au before heading home to Melbourne for a short break, Amon laughed off his 'Cornes moment' but confirmed his intentions at the club's pre-season camp.
"I think that might have been one of the shorter, quicker runs – I don't think Kane's quite got the speed he had back in the day," he joked.
"When we got back after off-season I really tried to have a solid two weeks, which I think I did, and then all the senior players came back and I still just wanted to push it up – try and get noticed.
"I attacked Dubai and tried to use my strengths, which is my running ability.
"I'm just trying to get the best out of every session and obviously my goal this year is to get my first game."
The wingman's dash is an asset he said came not from his father – who "did a bit of running when he was younger" – but from his own days as a junior basketballer.
Like so many in the modern game, Amon moved from the court to the oval, but only after shattering his ankle in three places.
He suffered the injury in year 10 and it was during the lengthy rehabilitation that he decided to focus his attention on footy.
The athleticism required in his former sport has held him in good stead.
"The agility, the sprints up the court – that's where I sort of got my speed from," he said.
"The best position for me would be on the wing, maybe even at half-forward and pushing in.
"My aim during games is to try and hit the scoreboard, just get damaging."
Reflecting the coaching staff's appreciation of Amon's development and potential, he's trained with the midfield this summer under the watchful eyes of skipper Travis Boak and deputy Brad Ebert.
Ebert will act as his mentor in 2015 and the vice-captain is a fine fit for Amon as he seeks to nurture a prodigious appetite for hard work.
A senior opportunity is closer than it's ever been, but with the Power's fight for a flag to be led by one of the League's best midfields, places in the side aren't easily available.
Several years ago it would have been a different story; when the club was floundering a player like Amon might have already seen game time.
The wait is frustrating, but it's also beneficial – allowing him to fine tune his running patterns and positioning.
"It's made me a better player, I've had to do it the hard way," he said.
"Last year was tough. I was on the verge a little bit but hopefully when I get that game I won't take it for granted.
"As it gets nearer and I can feel I'm playing some good footy, I'll know I've earned that spot."