FOR THE first time in a long time exciting Gold Coast defender Jy Farrar can set down some roots in one place after signing a two-year contract extension with the Suns.
Farrar's journey to the AFL was longer and more arduous than most.
He grew up in Halls Creek, went to boarding school in Perth, played footy back at home for two years and then spread his wings to play for North Wangaratta in country Victoria and Scotch College Old Collegians in Adelaide's division two amateur competition.
Farrar's winding football path then took the ultimate detour when Gold Coast plucked him with the 60th pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
After making his AFL debut in the final round of 2020, the spring-heeled 24-year-old has found a spot as a hybrid defender this season, playing five games.
Now Farrar can truly settle after signing on until at least the end of 2023.
"The contract is a reward for effort … I'm so grateful Gold Coast sees me in its future," Farrar told AFL.com.au.
"Most people don't get picked up at the age I did, so it's taking that opportunity with both hands, not worrying about what could happen in the near future, just living in the moment and attacking it."
It's a philosophy that has served the 24-year-old well. As he regularly says, it's about "having a dip".
Farrar didn't know a single person when he walked into Gold Coast's Carrara headquarters, but said his life of transition had prepared him well.
"You've got to learn how to make mates quickly and that comes with just being a good bloke," he said.
"Small chats matter. When you get the opportunity to have one-on-one chats with people, I take it.
"You get to learn about people and people learn about you and it just makes it easier to settle in.
"What I've learnt is that when you're out of your comfort zone you learn things about yourself you didn't know you had.
"When you take opportunities, more doors open and the more often you take them, the higher risk, the higher reward.
"You leave home, you go and find something, then another opportunity opens, it's just not thinking about the outcome, but going in and grabbing it with both hands."
On the field Farrar's development has been stark.
He said the adjustment from amateur to professional football was huge, but he'd learned to know only train well – which he did from day one – but to tick every other box including diet and recovery.
Coach Stuart Dew recalled a conversation with Farrar before the Suns went into a two-week hub in NSW last year where the utility stayed in Queensland.
"We gave him a whole heap of action items, and he just went and did it," Dew said.
"In the end, he played a game of AFL.
"To come from that mid-year to there is a good story.
"A large part of the credit needs to go to Jy and his commitment.
"Adaptable and resilient, they're a couple of traits you can't really teach, you've got to live through.
"We always say to young players when they come in they have to adapt and be resilient, but until they get lived experiences, which he'd already had, I think that held him in a really good position to adjust."