Kevin Walters can still remember the nerves sitting in the pit of his stomach for hours.
Here was a teenage kid from Queensland shifting south to chase a dream with the Canberra Raiders on the eve of the 1987 NSWRL season.
That sick feeling vanished in an instant when Walters stuck out his hand to introduce himself to his new coach.
It was the late Don Furner snr, the man who had helped build the Raiders from the ground up. The man who had just orchestrated the second consecutive unbeaten Kangaroo tour.
"Don was the initial coach to give me my opportunity at the Raiders way back when I was just a young kid," Walters said.
"He never seemed to be flustered, and I thought 'well, if this is what it's all about, this will do for me'.
"I was only a young 19-year-old, and he just made everything look so simple and easy. I took a good liking to that because I thought it was going to be a lot harder.
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"I just remember how calm and in control he was of any situation, he had big hands too. His handshake was pretty strong and very manly.
"He was the Australian coach at the time, he'd been away in 1986 for the undefeated Kangaroo tour.
"I was very fortunate to have crossed his path and been under his tutelage for a period of time. It was really good, really pleasing.
"Nothing ever bothered him, he kept things really simple which is what rugby league players need, particularly back in the '80s.
"I can't speak highly enough of him mate."
Walters says he is forever indebted to Furner and everything he did to get his career moving in the right direction.
It was a career which bore 23 appearances for Queensland - three in the Super League era - and 11 Tests for Australia.
"Looking back, not only was he a talented player and coach, I know he could spot a player. He had a really good eye for that," Walters said.
"We saw in those early years at the Raiders, some of the work he did in securing players like Mal [Meninga], he seemed to have a really good eye to pick talent.
"He rarely got that wrong."