It was a sight that would have brought a smile to any Illawarra football fan.
Standing at left back for Sydney FC against Adelaide United on Saturday night was Shellharbour's Joel King, and on the opposite side of the field, there was Dapto's Zac De Jesus.
De Jesus's whirlwind journey as an A-League Men's player continued at Hindmarsh Stadium. Three months after inking his first professional deal with the sky blues, he made his starting debut in the absence of veteran Rhyan Grant, who was sidelined due to family reasons.
The teenager may claim to be the team's charm as Sydney FC put their horror start to the season behind them with a clinical 5-1 thrashing of Adelaide. Joe Lolley and Jaiden Kucharski both mustered braces for the winners.
It was the club's first game - and a perfect start - under new head coach Ufuk Talay, who took the reins after long-time mentor Steve Corica was sacked last week.
De Jesus said it "felt really good" to make his starting debut.
"I was really grateful to have that opportunity. It gave me a little bit of confidence, though I was still obviously pretty nervous. A lot of the older boys calmed me down though and told me to do my thing and think positive," the 17-year-old told the Mercury.
"Being able to start the game, it makes me feel really good with the team. My goal is to now start more games this season."
After just one year with Sydney FC's Academy program, De Jesus became a full-time professional player when he signed a three-year contract with the sky blues in July.
The defender- who grew up supporting the club - hasn't wasted any time making an impression.
De Jesus was named on the bench for their round one clash with Melbourne Victory before getting some game time a week later against Brisbane. He also came off the bench for their next fixture with City.
Unfortunately for the sky blues, all three of those matches ended in defeat. However, there is a new air of confidence around the club after Saturday night's victory.
"That win felt really good, we really needed that," De Jesus said.
"The vibe has been pretty good and training has been pretty good. Coming into the game, we were pretty positive and we were ready for the game."
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