Not only does Melbourne's Brodie Croft have little NRL experience but he's only ever played in one rugby league grand final - and lost.
The rookie halfback can't stop smiling after helping steer the Storm into Sunday's NRL title decider against the Sydney Roosters.
It's an opportunity the 21-year-old feared he would miss as Melbourne tested three players to find the best fit for the jumper formerly worn by now Roosters No.7 Cooper Cronk.
After getting first crack, Croft was dumped after five rounds and didn't return to the role on a permanent basis until round 23.
"If you asked me two months ago if I'd be playing in an NRL grand final I would have laughed it off as a joke," said Croft, who has played just 16 NRL games.
Croft is sharing the week with teammates and housemates Curtis Scott, Brandon Smith as well as rising star Scott Drinkwater, who made his NRL debut this year.
Centre Scott was part of last year's grand final triumph while Croft and Smith were involved in the wider squad.
"Curtis has told us a few things here and there but being a part of the squad last year I got to experience most of the week and how the 17 prepared for the game so I got a bit out of that.
"I'm really excited to be honest. It's part of a childhood dream to be a part of an NRL grand final week," Croft said.
The young Queenslander admitted though that his grand final experience was very limited.
"My junior club, we barely ever made finals so I didn't play too many to be honest," Scott said.
"I've only played one rugby league one when I was 16 and we didn't win."
Cronk is a long shot to play for the Roosters after suffering a shoulder injury, but Croft said it would be "special" to line up against his hero, who he spent two years learning from before the veteran's departure.
"I just try not to think about it too much because you can get your head bogged down and play the game over and over in your head before you even get out there," Croft said.
"When it comes to the game I won't be focusing on him, I'll be focusing on doing my job for the team."
Australian Associated Press