Now a three-time TSL premiership player, Joe Groenewegen never thought he would be a Darrel Baldock Medallist.
Battling North Launceston superstar Alex Lee as effectively the solo ruck, it was obvious how much the best player in a grand final award meant to him.
"There's so many great players that have won it, Jobi Harper's won it twice, great names like [Brad] Cox-Goodyer," he said.
"It means so much to play well in a winning side and I guess that's what it represents so it means a lot."
It's potentially only Launceston Football Club and his supportive family base that means more.
"I feel like I owe the club so much," he said.
"They took me in in a crappy situation last year and they never stopped backing me in and I just felt like today I owed them, I owed the boys.
"It's different this year, losing that first final, everyone was a bit nervous and we dug deep and found a way, I'm just so proud of the boys."
Speaking to coach Mitch Thorp on Monday before the tribunal decision on Cody Thorp was made, Groenewegen stressed that he was ready, trying to set a positive vibe.
"Code has been super this year, people give him a hard time but at the club, he's been really good for me, we've supported each other all year and I was shattered he couldn't play.
"He's been great this week, he's got around the boys and he helped me feel confident that I could take on [Alex] Lee, who is a super ruckman."
Describing Lee as a "brilliant tap ruckman", Groenewegen, who kicked two majors in the win, said Lee still beat him in the hit-outs.
"We worked so hard at negating the groundball, so if he won the hit-out or not we were trying to nullify that.
"Fletcher Seymour did a mountain of work in that aspect, coming up with something that might work against them and it did, all I tried to do was nullify it and get the ball myself.
"Lee still flogged me in the hit-out stuff, I just tried to do what I could do in the other areas and that's all you can do, work on your strengths."