GWS coach Leon Cameron delivered some profound and prophetic pre-season words to young gun Tim Taranto, who will celebrate his 50th AFL game on Sunday.
Cameron, well aware of the void left by Dylan Shiel's departure, told Taranto his wish of more inside-midfield minutes would be granted in 2019 and it meant a chance to become one of the league's genuine A-Graders.
Taranto is too humble to put himself in that bracket but the 21-year-old's influence has been immense in GWS's 8-4 start, and reflected by the fact he is the top-ranked Giant on the AFL Coaches Association's champion player leaderboard.
Taranto has tallied the same number of votes as Geelong great Gary Ablett and Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury, a midfield gun he looked up to as a child and continues to be inspired by.
"I watch footage of Pendlebury every now and then and try to pick up a few things," Taranto told AAP as he prepared to face North Melbourne in Hobart.
"I'm not satisfied with how I'm going as an individual, or us as a group.
"I want to keep building, trying to improve.
"I'm proud and very grateful to play 50 games but I just want to get it out of the way and get the win. Hopefully there's better things to come later this year."
The former No.2 draft pick has stepped up in the absence of Shiel but also hard-nosed captain Callan Ward, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in round four that robbed GWS of their biggest and best on-baller.
Taranto's mother Jessica will be at Sunday's game while his Texas-based father Phillip offered to fly in for the occasion.
"I just laughed it off, said 'Mate don't be silly, maybe save it for the 100th or something'," Taranto said.
"He was genuinely considering it.
"He's unreal. He's on the other side of the world but supported me so much."
Taranto, whose 'bull' goal celebration is a nod to US college football outfit the Texas Longhorns, remains close with his dad despite the geographical distance.
While lacking the profile of Collingwood forward and fellow American Mason Cox, Taranto's father has done his part to help grow the game in Texas.
"He was here for my debut, he's probably seen five or six games live but watched all of them on TV," the youngster said.
"He gets up at all hours with the family ... he absolutely loves footy now. I think it's his favourite sport.
"All his mates love it ... a couple have come over to watch some games."