EVEN in a draft pool stocked with key position talent it's easy to notice Hugh Goddard.
That famous last name – he is the cousin of Essendon star Brendon Goddard - is the first thing that grabs most people's attention, followed by his 196cm frame and shock of blonde hair.
But it's Goddard's confidence that leaves the lasting impression. For an 18-year-old he just oozes self-belief and positivity.
As Geelong Falcons talent manager Michael Turner puts it: "He's an extrovert, but he's a nice extrovert."
Throughout a challenging draft year Goddard has maintained his infectious attitude and kept his chin up, which helped the top-20 draft prospect turnaround a season that threatened to run off the rails.
Early on, he struggled to impact TAC Cup games playing as a key forward - the position he dominated at under-16 level.
He carried indifferent form into the opening rounds of the NAB AFL under-18s championships for Vic Country and – a two-goal performance in the first round aside – simply wasn't playing to his potential.
But he kept plugging away and his fortunes changed when he was swung back into defence and charged with stopping some of the biggest names in this year's draft pool.
"His whole season basically changed," Turner told AFL.com.au. "He played on some really good players like Darcy Moore and those guys and never gave them a kick."
Back in form, Goddard returned to play school football and finals for the Falcons as a key defender.
"I think he's found his feet in the backline," Turner said. "He tends to cover his opponent well and he stays on his feet, whereas in the forward line when he has to go for his marks he throws himself at the ball and sometimes goes to ground a bit."
Goddard, in typical style, prefers to focus on how he bounced back to finish the carnival on a high when he looks back at his season.
"I really learnt a lot out of it. I really took that on … and I wanted to show everyone that I could play at both ends," Goddard told AFL.com.au.
"As disappointing as it was for me in a way to have those games that weren't as dominant as they should have been, you've got to have that bit of grunt inside yourself and really be able to just want to prove people wrong.
"The AFL's such a competitive environment, if you're not competitive and confident in yourself you're not in the right sport.
"You don't want to be arrogant at all and you've just go to be humble … but it's important to have that confidence."
Being confident is one thing, but knowing where you need to improve is another.
After listening to feedback from his coaches, Goddard has worked on building his endurance base and linked up with his uncle Dean, a former Stawell Gift runner, who has devised a tailor-made fitness program.
Goddard is one of the few young guns with the size, pace and endurance to go with the likes of Collingwood father-son Darcy Moore or Falcons teammate Paddy McCartin, according to Turner.
"I just don't think there's not that many kids at his size who can play centre half-back but also go forward as well," he said.
"They're all after the big strong key forwards, but they've got to have someone to play on them.
"So I reckon his form warrants him certainly being a first-round draft pick and I wouldn't be surprised if he went top 10."
If anyone can deal with the associated expectation that would bring, it's Goddard.
Having his cousin Brendon and Geelong star Tom Hawkins, a hyped father-son, to turn to for advice – sometimes during a round of golf - has been invaluable in a year where he has been under the microscope.
"There's lots of players coming through – you've got Darcy and these guys with their last names as well – but I don't think it has put any extra pressure on me," Goddard said.
"I can only control what I can do. What everyone else thinks … they can think what they want, I don't really care about it."