'I thought it was over to be honest'
For 23-year-old Tim Glasby, the numbers of his fledgling rugby league career were no longer adding up.
Mixing his full-time job as a financial planner with Kennas Financial Services in downtown Rockhampton with his duties as captain of the Central Queensland Capras in 2012, Glasby was coming to terms with a career charting the stock market rather than stacking up tackles.
A promising youngster who came through the Norths Knights in Rockhampton, Glasby played 27 matches across two seasons with the Penrith under-20s before returning to complete his university degree in his home town.
Three years came and went in the blink of an eye and just when he was about to give up on his NRL dream, a call came from the Melbourne Storm at just the right time.
All but given up
Four years later, he is in somewhat disbelief that he will make his Origin debut for Queensland on Wednesday night (June 21, Sydney) and admits that as he bided his time playing in the Intrust Super Cup he thought his NRL opportunities had passed him by.
"I thought it was over to be honest," Glasby said on his second day in camp with the Maroons.
"I'd finished my degree as a financial planner and in 2012 I was working full-time as a planner and playing for the Capras and I was enjoying it.
"I loved that sort of life and loved what I was doing at the Capras, it was good fun.
"I just always had the attitude that I wanted to play at the highest level that I could. At the time I couldn't play NRL so I was more than happy to play Queensland Cup.
"I just gave that a red-hot crack and very happy to get the call from the Storm when it came.
"I was lucky enough that they offered me two years so there was a bit of security there. I had a great job back at Rocky and I hoped that if it didn't work out I could go back to it.
"I think they would have taken me back – I hoped they would have.
"Don't need to know now, not for a while."
Tick from Cam Smith
Glasby's Storm skipper Cameron Smith also received a call prior to the Queensland team being selected as coach Kevin Walters pondered who to usher in as the next generation of Maroons with the series on the line.
The player with more Origin games to his name than any other had no hesitation in stating the case for the 188cm, 106kg man with whom he spends so much time in the middle.
"I'm a huge fan of Tim. I get to play alongside him every week for the Storm and he's just the type of player that you need in Origin football," Smith said.
There when you need him
"If I look up and need someone to carry the ball he'll be there to carry it for me. When you look on your inside and you need him to make a tackle he'll be there to make a tackle.
"I give my opinion on players that I'm asked about. I spoke about Tim and what I thought he could bring to the side and obviously Kev and the selectors thought he would be a good selection for our side this time around.
"I just think he's a guy that will do all the little things right for the team which is where I think we let ourselves down in Game One."
'Origin growing up for me was like Christmas'
For Glasby, who sheepishly admitted that he grew up admiring the work of Blues backrowers Ben Creagh and Ryan Hoffman, the Origin dream that is about to be realised still seems too good to be true.
"When I've been in the Emerging squad the last few years and playing good footy I'd hoped that a call might come eventually. I can't say that I expected it – I don't know if you can ever expect that – but I was pleasantly surprised.
"Origin growing up for me was like Christmas coming three times a year. It's just a dream come true to play Origin; I still can't believe that I'm going to be playing Origin.
"It's a great feeling and to pull on that Maroons jersey and run out with those players is going to be a real special moment."