THEY may be at opposite ends of their rugby league careers, but the final rounds of the NRL season will hold a special meaning for both Jeremy Latimore and Gerringong's Jackson Ford.
For Latimore, the next four games will be his last in the top flight, the 32-year-old calling time on an 11-year career.
Ford, on the other hand, is hoping to use the next four games to cement his place inside the Dragons lineup, having made his debut in Saturday's win over the Titans.
The debut came after he sat on the bench for the first 60 minutes of the match and he said it was a special moment to receive the tap on the shoulder from assistant coach Dean Young.
"It was unreal, to get out there on the home ground with all my family watching, it's a dream come true," Ford, the Lions product, said.
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"It was very nerve-wracking sitting on the bench not knowing when you're going to get on. Mary told me if there's no injuries, I wasn't going to get on in the first half, so that made it a little bit less nerve-wracking.
"The nerves were flying when I got the call off Deano, 'Fordy, let's go, you're on'."
Ford hopes to spend the next four weeks taking in as much as he can, learning all about what it takes to play in the NRL, adjusting to the speed of the game and the size of the hits.
Latimore may not be adjusting to first grade, but he's also looking forward to savouring the next four weeks. While a stint in the Illawarra Rugby League beckons, he wants to ensure his last four matches in the NRL are ones to remember.
"These matches do have an extra meaning," Latimore said. "You really cherish it. There's a few little things I'm noticing, in the sheds I'm a bit more aware, really trying to soak everything in.
"I'm excited about retirement as well as a bit sad. Obviously I've played football for a long time, so there's some mixed emotions, but I just feel now is the right time, my body's not feeling the best, so I think it will be a good time."
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Having spent so many years in the NRL at five different clubs, Latimore has seen plenty of emerging youngsters in his time. Ford, he says, is one of the more talented he has come across.
The 21-year-old has impressed numerous senior players at the Dragons with his desire to learn and constantly improve his game, with Paul Vaughan also praising Ford's work ethic.
For Latimore, it's that commitment to work hard that sets Ford apart from the sport's other youngsters.
"He's a good kid," Latimore said. "He's someone who works really hard, he's a quiet achiever who's come through the ranks this year. The week before his debut he scored four tries in reserve grade, you can't keep someone like that out for too long.
"Hopefully he's got a few more games coming up before the end of the season, he'll have a long career ahead of him.
"He's a quiet, humble kid who works hard and keeps his head down. He's someone who takes all the feedback on board, goes away and works on his game."