SHAUN Fensom's beginning with the Brisbane club yesterday caps surely the longest journey ever to become a Bronco.
In 2005 a 17-year-old Fensom was part of a Broncos' talent squad on the NSW mid-north coast.
The Broncos had identified him from his home town of Urunga, 20 minutes' drive south of Coffs Harbour.
Plans were made for him to move north to Brisbane but they fell through, and Fensom joined the Canberra Raiders where he would go on to play eight seasons of NRL.
After a two-year stop in Townsville with the Cowboys, the hard-working lock has now joined the Broncos to shore up the club's depth and experience.
And the irony that is has taken him over 13 years to get here is not lost on the 30-year-old.
He also made the Broncos pay the price for missing out on him at an early age - but more about that later.
"It is quite an incredible journey," he said in his first interview as a Bronco.
"I know it has taken a few years to get here, but I am finally here and very excited."
Fensom said he jumped at the opportunity when the Broncos came calling over the Christmas break after supporting his wife and three children by doing some carpentry work in the off-season.
"I just have been doing a lot of training by myself," he said.
"I've also been doing a bit of 'chippy' work on the side and spending time with the family.
"I've been enjoying having a bit of time off.
"But it is good to get back to work and train as well, and it is outstanding to be here now.
"I was very keen - it is an awesome city and an awesome place.
"And every time you come here to play there is 30 or 40 thousand people in the stadium and there is always a real buzz about the place.
"As soon as this got tossed up I was more than keen to come."
Fensom said he was working on getting to know the roles of those around him as he settles on a simple goal for season 2019.
"At the moment it is about learning the plays, and learning about the players and what players do what," he said.
"I want to get my fitness up and the goal for the season is just to make the starting 17.
"There are a lot of younger players here at the moment and I have played a few games now, so I will be trying to help them the best they can while trying to get into the 17 each week.
"I have seen that as an opportunity to come here with a lot of experience and it will be good to help those younger players coming through."
Now back to that missed opportunity with Fensom.
After the young forward went to Canberra, he went on to captain the club's first ever National Youth Competition under-20s team.
And who did the young Raiders face in the first ever NYC Grand Final? The Brisbane Broncos, of course.
The Broncos' team included players like Andrew McCullough, Alex Glenn, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire and Jharal Yow Yeh.
And it was the Raiders who triumphed, breaking a deadlock in golden-point extra time to take the inaugural NYC title.
"It was against the Broncos and there are a few players here still that we beat that day," smiled Fensom.
"'Macca' (McCullough) is one of them and I will hold that over him while I am here, and it will be a good joke."
Fensom adds experience to Broncos pack