REDCLIFFE Dolphins fullback Joe Bond still struggles to believe that Broncos coach Anthony Griffin asked to meet him.
Bond stands only 175cm and weighs 76kg. He never made a representative team growing up and did not take league seriously until he finished high school.
When the Dolphins clash with Wynnum Manly in Sunday's Intrust Super Cup grand final, Bond has the chance to show everyone why Griffin requested a meeting and then signed him to a one-year contract.
"The Broncos stuff all came out of the blue," Bond said. "Anthony Griffin just called me and said he wanted to meet and it went from there.
"We had a good talk and he was honest about what I needed to improve and the task ahead and he made me feel a lot more at ease."
Bond, 24, is a former touch footballer, a Norths Devils junior who was not particularly interested in becoming an NRL player until his late teens.
"I was always the smallest bloke on every team so I never made any schoolboys or underage teams," Bond said.
"I was mainly playing touch footy and mucking around with league a bit but it wasn't until I was 17 or so, after high school, that I started taking it seriously."
Bond left the Devils for the Dolphins at the start of last year seeking greater opportunity.
"I was injured for most of 2010 and I didn't know if there was much chance at the Devils with the backline they had and when John Dixon gave me a call I jumped at the chance," he said.
"We have had a great year and this game will be the highlight of my career so far. The team's been creating space for me and that's helped me a lot."
Redcliffe have handed captaincy duties to Isaak Ah Mau, replacing the injured Chris Farrell, who suffered a broken jaw in the major semi-final 10 days ago.
Wynnum Manly have named Charlie Gubb despite the prop facing a one-week suspension if the QRL judiciary hearing tonight finds him guilty of a dangerous throw charge.
Intrust Super Cup grand final teams.