Once a fortnight, Noah Balta receives a parcel that reminds him of home.
While ensconced in the AFL's Gold Coast hub, Richmond's emerging key defender eagerly awaits the regular arrival of a bumper care package of Croatian food from his mum - then makes light work of it.
"I get a fair bit of prsuts from the butcher down south, so I'm so happy with that," Balta told AAP.
"It comes up in these little vacuum-sealed boxes and it feels like I'm at home when they get sent up.
"I've got my aunty sending me up brownies and cookies ... it's nice to have every now and then.
"Every fortnight or so, I get a care package sent up, and I usually demolish it in the first week and ask for more."
Balta's connection to his culture has run throughout his sporting journey.
Before he turned to Australian rules, Balta grew up running around at Melbourne Knights and St Albans - two football clubs built up by the Croatian community of Melbourne's western suburbs.
"I was goalkeeper because I was pretty big and slightly agile, so I could get from one spot to another pretty quick," he said.
"Striker as well - I've got a pretty good header on me because (my head's) like 30 kilos - so it doesn't hurt me when I head it."
He had two heroes: hard-nosed North Melbourne defender Glenn Archer and former Socceroo and Knights legend Andrew Marth.
But it quickly became clear the athletic youngster was more suited to Archer's career than that of Marth.
Joining his classmates at Essendon Doutta Stars, Balta progressed through the ranks until Richmond plucked him from Calder in the 2017 AFL draft.
There, he was taken under the big wing of ruck coach Ivan Maric - who'd known Balta as one of those fresh-faced kids at St Albans.
Balta's first season didn't deliver a debut but included a timely, enjoyable interruption: following the highs and lows of Croatia's unbelievable ride to the 2018 World Cup final - with Maric at his side.
"I'm so happy for our nation because for me growing up, the World Cup was special - so for us just to make the top two, I'm so proud," he said.
"Me and Ivan Maric went to the Croatian church in Sunshine - they had it live streamed up on the TV. (Despite the loss), we still partied like no other."
Balta, 20, has relished life at Richmond with Maric and ruckman Ivan Soldo, while his cousin, 213cm basketballer Mate Colina, joined as a category B rookie earlier this month.
"We're very lucky to be all together," Balta said.
"The Croatian community's a strong part of who I am, and our culture."
His other teammates have embraced that, too.
"That's what's so good about this club," Balta said.
"We've got so many cultures and we all come together and play this game that we love."
Content off the field, Balta has now found his place on it.
Last year, Balta spent his debut season drifting between attack, defence and the ruck - though Alex Rance sat in on his game reviews, helping to mould him into a permanent backman.
Rance's abrupt retirement opened the door for Balta to kick on, and he has done just that - locking down a key defensive post and drawing admirers in the process.
On Friday night, Balta will make his AFL finals debut, knowing he'll have plenty of support behind him - and hopefully another parcel on the way.