IT'S not too often you get to play representative footy in front of your home fans - especially not on the ground where you learnt how to pay the game.
But Gerringong's Tyran Wishart will have that unique opportunity on Saturday, as his St George Illawarra Dragons Jersey Flegg side battle the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Michael Cronin Oval from 1.45pm.
"Being able to run onto the ground I grew up playing on, for the club I've always dreamed of playing for, will be very special," Wishart said.
"I've had plenty of good memories at Michael Cronin Oval and I'm sure Saturday will only add to that - I can't wait."
This game will mark Wishart's second in the Red V this season, after recently returning from open latarjet surgery to his right shoulder in the off-season.
"It was great to be back out there with the boys on Saturday, especially as the shoulder came through unscathed," he said.
"I'm hoping to build on that performance with a another strong showing against Manly on Saturday."
Joining the 19-year-old in the Dragons, who are 2-1-1 on the season, squad are fellow Group Seven products Jiye Ellis, Jake Brisbane (both Albion Park-Oak Flats), Sam McCann (Milton-Ulladulla) and Blair Grant (Warilla-Lake South).
"It's great to have all the Group Seven guys in the squad, as I grew up playing against them all, as well as playing alongside them in junior representative sides," he said.
"It's been especially beneficial to work with Blair [Grant] and Jake [Brisbane], as we all play in the halves and are teaching each other certain skills to add to our games.
"Hopefully our combinations can continue to thrive in the coming weeks."
With that in mind, as well as knocking off the then second placed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-14 last round, Wishart believes his side have the talent to go all the way in 2019.
"Obviously being part of the system last year has helped me identify the standard I need to be at week in week out to succeed at this level," he said.
"Combine that with the talent that has come in this year and I think we have the team that can win the competition.
"If we can unlock a couple of areas that have fallen short the past few weeks, there's no reason why this can't be a successful season in the Red V."
In other Dragons news, the Canterbury Cup squad, headlined by Gerringong's Jackson Ford and Albion Park-Oak Flats' Adam Clune, will clash with the Sea Eagles from 5.15pm at WIN Stadium.