Sam Matthews' road to the Illawarra Premier League grand final involved a weekend dash back to Wollongong after he spent the two days leading up to the preliminary final locked in trials with the Melbourne Heart's National Youth League side.
Dapto Dandaloo midfielder Matthews and South Coast Wolves pair Brian Jamba and Hayden Durose trialled with the Heart's under-age side late last week.
The trio were afforded the opportunity to showcase their talents with the A-League club after Heart coach John Aloisi and his assistant Hayden Foxe conducted try-outs for 80 potentials in Wollongong earlier this month.
After trialling with the youth side on Friday and Saturday, Matthews jetted back to Sydney in time to link up with his Fury teammates in their 2-1 win over Port Kembla on Sunday.
"On the Friday afternoon we went and had a trial with the youth side and then on the Saturday we went and trialled again and watched the first team," Matthews said.
"It was great, the coaches were nice and all the boys in the team were nice."
Matthews, Jamba and Durose were offered the chance through Heart's association with real estate firm ParkTrent, who sponsor the club's National Youth League side.