Shellharbour's Liam Bonetig could not believe what was happening when he learned that Scottish powerhouses Celtic were interested in his services.
After playing at the Western Sydney A-League academy since 2016, Bonetig flew overseas to trial for Celtic. The 17-year-old central defender impressed in his showing during the Australian Schoolboys tournament in the UK and Ireland.
During that trip, Bonetig was named the player of the tour after a number of impressive performances for Australia.
From putting in endless amounts of hours in at Myimbarr Oval at Shellharbour with his brother Alex and his dad Mineo, Bonetig's dream of becoming a professional footballer was realised when he was signed by the 53-time Scottish champions.
The Shellharbour junior said it was a surreal moment, from the beginning of the trial to being signed by the club.
"When I first heard that a club like Celtic was interested I couldn't believe it, and to get the deal done was a feeling that I couldn't describe as for my career it was a massive step forward," he told the Mercury.
"All my life, I guess it's the dream for any kid that starts football at a young age, which is to play in Europe and to follow in the footsteps as their idols, so to finally make that dream come true was an incredible feeling. The trial was a great experience and it gave me a taste of what to expect from the team, football and the club.
After signing a three-year deal with the 'Bhoys', he will feature for the reserves with the goal of eventually playing for the first team.
Bonetig will now get the opportunity to play in the UEFA Youth League and showcase his skills in the Lowland League too.
"Of course the first goal is to settle in and get used to the speed at which football is played over here and in the top competitions in Europe in the Youth League," Bonetig continued.
"But once I've done that, I don't want to rest for what I've got, as although it's a big step for my career right now, in the bigger picture I want to feel like it's just the start of something bigger to work towards.
"Of course it was a massive reward for myself to get this deal done through all the hours spent training and working for a goal like this, but not only was it a reward for me but also for both my parents and brother, Alex.
"As for this step forward in my career it reflects all the work they have done with me and to get me to the person and player I am today. So I couldn't put it into words how grateful I am to have had them by my side throughout my life to ultimately give me this opportunity."