Success in life so often starts with making the most of your opportunities.
Many of us have experienced examples of people with oodles of talent that haven't reached their potential - whether that be in sport or business.
They mightn't have had the work ethic required to go to the next level or, maybe, they just didn't value or recognise the opportunity they had.
Bendigo's Charlie Edwards certainly doesn't fit into that category.
A wise head on young shoulders, Edwards has grabbed every opportunity he's received with both hands.
Four years ago - at the age of 14 - he was awarded a general excellence scholarship to the prestigious Melbourne Grammar School.
While it was a major move for a child that age to pack up and leave his close-knit Bendigo family for boarding school in the big smoke, it was an opportunity Edwards didn't take for granted.
The education and sporting opportunities at Melbourne Grammar were too good to refuse. He took the plunge.
Fast forward four years and Edwards completed Year 12 studies with flying colours and is now just a few days away from achieving his sporting dream of being drafted to an AFL club.
Edwards looks set to be selected either late in the first round of Monday night's AFL National Draft or early in the second round, which will be held on Tuesday night.
"I'm really excited. This is something I've wanted to do my whole life,'' Edwards said.
"I'm ready for it to happen and then get stuck in."
FOOTY JOURNEY TAKES SHAPE
A prodigious junior cricket talent with Strathdale-Maristians, Edwards played with Prahran when he moved to Melbourne and helped Melbourne Grammar's cricket team to an undefeated premiership season when he was in Year 11.
He could have gone down the cricket path, but footy was where his heart was.
A Sandhurst junior during his time in Bendigo, Edwards was picked up by Coates Talent League club the Sandringham Dragons.
This time last year Edwards was not spoken about when it came to potential draftees in 2023.
Edwards' work ethic, combined with his ability to make the most of another opportunity, changed all that.
"I had a big focus in the off-season on getting in the gym and I think that work paid off,'' Edwards said.
"Opportunity played a big part in it as well. At the start of the footy season I was playing as a deep defender and then I worked my way to a high half-back role.
"Mid-season when the [national] championships were on a lot of the boys went away to that and I got the opportunity to play in the midfield [for Sandringham].
"I was lucky enough to play okay and from then on [Sandringham coach] Rob Harding said that was my spot."
Edwards averaged 17.1 disposals and kicked seven goals in 12 matches in the Coates Talent League.
A 29-possession game in the midfield in round 13 caught the eye of AFL recruiters and he's steadily made his way up draft boards ever since.
He played in the midfield as the Dragons won the Coates Talent League premiership. He managed to juggle a whirlwind footy season with his studies.
"Footy was my break,'' he said.
"I enjoy training and I enjoy getting in the gym, so I used that to break my school week up. Going to footy training with my mates was enjoyable and that's a big reason why we had so much success this year with the Sandringham team.
"Rob Harding was awesome for us. He's very good with people and he made training very enjoyable.
"We were lucky that we got to train at RSEA Park which is where St Kilda trains. Training wasn't a chore.
"The school and the footy club were really supportive with everything I was doing this year."
CLUBS CIRCLE FOR CHARLIE'S SERVICES
At a height of 191cm, Edwards is the size of a modern-day AFL midfielder.
At the state combine he ran a time of 6:24 for the 2km time-trial, proving he has the running capabilities to one day force his way into an AFL club's midfield.
"This year I literally played everywhere except the ruck,'' he said.
"I think a few of the AFL clubs see me in different spots. At the end of the day you're not going to come into an AFL club and start in the midfield. I'd like to develop as a midfielder long term, but I probably see myself starting half-back and then work inside as I put on some size and fitness."
Hawthorn, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide are the only three clubs not to talk to Edwards in the pre-draft process. They're three clubs that don't have selections late in the first round or early in the second round.
Adelaide, Sydney, St Kilda, Collingwood and North Melbourne have been linked to Edwards, but the teenager won't take anything for granted. He just wants to hear his name called out on draft night.
"I'm happy to go anywhere,'' Edwards said.
"I've already done the big move from Bendigo to Melbourne a few years ago for boarding school, so I'm ready for whatever happens.
"I just want an opportunity."