No expert thought Elijah Hollands would slip as low pick seven in the AFL draft.
But behind the scenes, Gold Coast were optimistic.
All indications were that the Murray Bushrangers prospect would be snapped up in the top three.
But when North Melbourne delivered the first shock of draft night by grabbing midfielder Will Phillips at No.3, the Suns got excited.
Hollands shaped as a potential No.1 pick before injuring his ACL in February.
But what recruiters saw of him during the 2019 NAB League season was enough to be convinced of the explosive midfield-forward's potential.
Every player's path to an AFL club is different - Phillips chatted with the Kangaroos once before heading to Arden St - but Hollands started to feel something was going on with the Suns and coach Stuart Dew.
"I spoke to them (Gold Coast) on Tuesday, the day before the draft, and it was more some off-field questions," Hollands told AAP.
"It was mostly around culture and connection, and I believe that's stuff that I'm able to equally bring off the field as on it.
"(The Suns) didn't really give too much away; they didn't necessarily say 'if you're there we're taking you', but in the end they did.
"I had a couple of chats with Stuey (Dew) over the last few days and what he's going to do with the club is something that really excites me.
"I'm big on coach relationships and staff relationship and I think I will be able to do that with Stuey.
"I think he really enjoys embracing the players and everyone at the club.
"There's a bit more to just being at a footy club and playing footy."
The Albury recruit won't be available to play until April, at the earliest, as he regains strength in his knee but Hollands shapes as a long-term prospect for the Suns.
He will join an exceptionally talented group that includes young stars Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson, Ben King and Izak Rankine.
"Gold Coast look like a side that can really start to hammer some doors down and really got going," Hollands said.
"To be able to hopefully contribute to that and get around that group is something that I'm really looking forward to."
While Hollands appears to have the full package of talent, work ethic and leadership, he doesn't need to look far to realise how brutal the AFL system can be.
His father Ben Hollands had stints at Sydney, Richmond and Port Adelaide, but his only eight AFL games came with the Tigers in 1999.
"He (Ben) knows the fact that I was only presented an opportunity (by being drafted), I wasn't presented a big career," the 18-year-old Hollands said.
"It's up to me to make that happen.
"That's what he's put on me, but to enjoy it as well because that's the reason why I wanted to play footy.
"It's not because it's a job, it's because I really love it."
Australian Associated Press