Fifteen-year-old Armani Biddle is entering his second year of a four-year contract with NRL club Manly Sea Eagles, and his Northland-born mum is incredibly proud.
Lydia Pirini, who now resides in Sydney, is watching her son grow into a talented young rugby league player across the ditch.
She said the family was ecstatic for him but they were not getting ahead of themselves.
"We're very proud but we are taking things as they come," she said.
"He's played reps since he was 12 for Parramatta and since then he hasn't really had a holiday.
"He played for Parramatta Under 12s and 14s before being scouted by Manly. We kept our options open but eventually he went to Manly and is now playing in the Harold Matthews Under-16 competition."
The next steps for Biddle is S.G. Ball which is at under-18 level.
Biddle plays centre in the only sport he has given a real crack at.
Pirini, who attended Broadwood School in her youth, said they were quite tough on him but only to help him succeed.
"It's not easy for him. He doesn't get to go out as often as his schoolmates but we make sure he is training hard," she said.
"He trains five days a week and gets out for runs at 5am.
"He really deserves his spot since he works so hard for it. Heaps of people are gunning for his position so he keeps working.
"He only played league. He just loves the game and carved up when he started playing, which came out of nowhere."
Pirini said she hoped this showed parents in Northland that there was a pathway for talented youngsters once you put them first.
"I posted my son and his achievement up on our whanau page cause I believe in my heart that there are so many talented whanau back home, with so many young tamariki who can make it like there cousin," she said.
"I see the passion when there's a huge Pawarenga Broncos game and how our tamariki watch in awe.
"My kids were brought up around violence, drugs and alcohol when they were babies, as parents we were selfish I can say now, but we realised things had to change and we moved to Sydney."
"It was the best choice we made now we live for our kids!"