ADAM Docker thought he had conquered all the necessary hurdles.
He'd moved away from his family and friends in Shellharbour to pursue a footy career.
He'd recovered from a broken jaw suffered just two rounds into the season.
Even when Ivan Cleary first called him to deliver the life-changing news, his phone had no reception.
So once the words had slipped out of the head coach's mouth, surely it was official.
He'd be making his long-awaited first grade debut against the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland in just three days' time.
"I went home that night and went through my passport and it was out of date by two months," Docker said.
"I had to get a usable passport in less than a day and I didn't sleep that night just knowing the fact it was almost impossible."
With the frantic help of club officials, Docker was able to renew his passport and join the team in their late 18-16 victory.
"I felt great, it was a good experience and I was glad I got the opportunity to have a go."
"Having a win on debut was just a bonus and the best feeling ever."
With family and mates watching on, Docker admitted he was extremely nervous before kick-off but he said the feedback had been positive and his family couldn't be prouder.
The 21-year-old lock and second-rower, who works as a plumber away from football, again featured in the Panthers line-up last weekend and has been named in the No.17 jumper for tomorrow night's last clash of the season, against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
He moved to the Windsor Wolves earlier this year and said it would be phenomenal to appear regularly in the Panthers' side in 2013.
"It'd mean so, so much," he said.
"It'd just be my dream come true . . . my job occupation to be a sportsman.
"Making Origin, with NSW obviously, that would be the next dream."