Karmichael Hunt is starting to win friends and influence people.
No one is saying the Gold Coast Suns' left-field gamble is going to produce the next champion, a man who will change the game or become an instant Brownlow Medal contender.
But, almost certainly, he will start the season in the Gold Coast's top side. Just getting there is, in itself, a victory.
When Hunt signed to be an AFL player in July, 2009, many had serious doubts he would even make the starting barrier.
Adrian Barich, who played rugby league for Western Reds and AFL for West Coast, said: "Having played both sports, I can tell you the challenges in front of him are unbelievable.
"He will start off with the worst overhead mark in the competition, the worst handball in the competition, the worst kick ... you name it.
"To think he could make an impact inside three years is just a pipedream. It won't happen."
Barich is two weeks away from a serving of humble pie.
Hunt is capable of playing an important role for the Suns now. Physically he is good to go. He has built his endurance incredibly while losing none of his strength.
His ability to negotiate heavy traffic is already starting to get noticed and he probably isn't even the worst kick in his side.
Winning friends is one thing but, more importantly, Hunt is starting to influence people. His teammates.
Their confidence in him has grown considerably in the six weeks since the Suns started match-type drills at training. Where once they searched frantically for any other option, now they give to Hunt without a second thought.
And Hunt's own confidence is sky high.
Greater Western Sydney football manager Graeme Allan, one of the best talent spotters in the history of football, watched Hunt's debut against Sydney Swans and his own Giants in Blacktown in round one of the NAB Cup.
His overriding impression was that Hunt's game sense, which most thought would be his achilles heel, was developing rapidly.
"He can clearly see how the game is unfolding and he is directing traffic like a veteran, it was very impressive for a kid in his first game," he said.
Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett was midway through the 2009 premiership when news crackled down to Geelong that the Suns had signed Hunt. He admits he was not sure what to make of it when he heard the word.
But Ablett now concedes he is one of the converted.
"He is doing really well," Ablett said.
"He has been working so hard over the pre-season and has really improved his game. He has really surprised me.
"I guess when I first heard he had been picked up I wondered what his skills would be like coming from a rugby league background.
"He kicks a ball as if he has had it in his hands every day since he was five.
"He is improving every training session. Because he was such a good rugby league player people expect he will be a champion straightaway. But it is going to take time."
* Story courtesy of Andrew Hamilton and Robert Craddock at The Courier Mail.