Storm youngster Dean Ieremia is prepared to play the long game as he attempts to build on an impressive debut against the Sharks.
The 19-year-old winger didn't look out of place during the round eight clash, deputising for the injured George Jennings on the wing as the Storm cruised to a 40-14 triumph.
"It was a crazy experience," Ieremia told NRL.com.
"I have grown up watching these players play on TV and now running out alongside them is just the best experience a young kid could have."
Ieremia's promotion was well deserved, with the teenager backing up an impressive performance in the trial match against the Knights in Albury with some eye-catching performances for the Brisbane Tigers during the opening stages of the Intrust Super Cup.
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In just four appearances for the Storm's feeder side in 2021, Ieremia has run in six tries and impressed with his blistering speed.
That led to Ieremia's promotion to face the Sharks, with the 19-year-old joining Mahe Fonua, Young Tonumaipea, Jake Webster and Richard Kennar in the select group of five Victorian-raised players to pull on the purple jersey.
It also meant there was a lot of scrambling for tickets for Ieremia once veteran coach Craig Bellamy told him he would be making his debut.
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"I had to run around the day before the game to get 50 tickets and then an extra 10 on the day to make sure I got the whole family in," Ieremia noted.
"I had heaps of friends and family here being from Melbourne and the people here mean a lot to me being able to represent them."
With Jennings expected to return from concussion to face the Rabbitohs on Thursday night, Ieremia may again find himself on the sidelines.
And that's fine with Ieremia, who is prepared to head back to Brisbane to continue his growth and wait for another chance.
"There is a lot of competition for spots, but I just want to stay humble, patient and whenever I get the call up I have got to do the best I can on the field," he said.
"I have been happy with my form in reserve grade ... the Queensland Cup is fast, but NRL is heaps faster."
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