Josh Attard dared to go where relatively few youngsters have gone before and is reaping the benefits of his bold move.
The year 12 Carinya Christian School student took another step in his goal of becoming a professional soccer referee when he ran the line in first grade and reserve grade in Newcastle on the weekend.
The big moment came some five years after he "put his hand up" to be a linesman for Northern Inland Football junior matches, said his proud father, Kevin.
After last year becoming the youngest person to referee a Northern Inland Football reserve-grade grand final, Attard is now refereeing his debut full season of first grade. He hopes to become an A-League ref - and ref beyond that level.
"I enjoy it very much," he said of officiating.
"I'm different to other people: other people might not enjoy it as much as me ... I just like being in charge and being under that, I guess, pressure - especially in grand final games when everything's at stake."
"As referees, we won't to perform well too," he added.
Attard is also one of the region's finest young fast bowlers, plying his trade in first grade at South Tamworth.
He hopes to do an arts degree - majoring in German - at the University of Newcastle (he has studied German for about two years via distance education), and may combine those studies with a bachelor of education degree.
"All going well, I'll aim for the first-grade game this year," he said of refereeing NIF's top-tier finale.