Kurt Gidley has tipped Warrington Wolves team-mate Declan Patton for big things following his display in the Super League Grand Final.
Patton, 21, started at half-back with Chris Sandow only fit enough for the bench having not played since August's Challenge Cup final loss to Hull FC.
The youngster produced a brilliant dummy before crossing for the match's first try, but second-half scores from Oliver Gildart and Josh Charnley earned Wigan Warriors a 12-6 victory at Old Trafford.
Despite the defeat, former Australia international Gidley reserved special praise for Patton, who he believes has stepped up when the team needed him.
"I've been really proud of Dec. It's tough being a back-up position for anywhere but he's taken his opportunity at the backend of the year," said Gidley.
"He's shown that he's got plenty of talent and I guess the ball's in his court now of how far he wants to take it. I've been proud of him as a team-mate and a more experienced player.
"I think if he wants to become a full-time Super League first-grader then he will."
For Patton himself, it was a match of hugely contrasting feelings.
"[Scoring a try was] mind-blowing really, although we've not ended up with the result, it was pretty satisfying," he said.
"It was devastating. One to 17 gave it all they could but it just wasn't meant to be."