THE one good thing to come out of this season for Parramatta is the emergence of a seriously good crop of youngsters who will hopefully see the club off the bottom of the ladder for years to come.
One of these is Junior Paulo who scored a try in the NRL at the weekend against the Wests Tigers.
The best way to describe the 19-year-old is as a 110-kilogram "mini" Fuifui Moimoi.
It stands to reason the pair have a developed a teacher-student relationship as members of the front row brotherhood.
For Paulo, he is living out every child's fantasy: playing with his sporting hero.
"He was my favourite player growing up," Paulo said.
"Fui has been a big mentor for me. He is someone I have always looked up to and to play with him has been a dream come true.
"He has given me a lot of advice and helped me a lot in my short career."
Paulo has taken the concept of a local junior to the next level.
Not only did he support the blue and gold growing up, he played his junior football with Cabramatta, represented the Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams and graduated through the Holden Cup and NSW Cup with Wentworthville.
This year alone he has yo-yoed between the under-20s, NSW Cup and first grade in the pursuit of building different elements of his game.
The hard work was rewarded in round 10 when he made his debut against St George Illawarra.
"It was everything I ever dreamed of," said Paulo, who is a former Australian schoolboy and represented the NSW under-20s team this year," he said.
"Ricky [coach Ricky Stuart] called me on Sunday to tell me to come to training and he told me I would be making my debut.
"My first emotion was a lot of excitement, then came the nerves then finally relief that all the hard work and sacrifices paid-off."
Paulo said his goal for the rest of the season was to maintain his consistency and form in the top grade and to continue to enjoy the game he has played since he was a five-year-old. In a year that has lacked enjoyment, Paulo has somehow managed to bring hope to the fans that better times are ahead with his blockbusting charges and big hits.
Coach Ricky Stuart sums it up best: "Sometimes it is difficult to see through the clouds of defeat, but through a difficult year for all of us, we can take some positives."
Junior Paulo is definitely one of them.