NRL rookie of the year Nick Cotric has been dreaming of playing for NSW since he was a little kid and he'll take his first step towards that at the emerging Blues camp in Sydney on Saturday.
But the Canberra Raiders young gun goes there with a heavy heart after "good mate" Kato Ottio's funeral was held in Papua New Guinea on Friday.
With Brett Morris retiring from representative football last year, there's a vacancy on NSW's left and Fittler said Cotric was one of the leading contenders to fill the hole.
Cotric drove to Sydney on Friday evening ahead of the day long camp, where he'll be one of 39 players who Blues legends will school on the history of the jersey.
Cotric said he didn't take too much notice of what was said in the papers, but it was "nice" to hear what Fittler had said about him.
The 19-year-old has worked with Fittler in the past - in the Blues' junior ranks - but hadn't spoken to the new Blues coach since he was named in the emerging Blues squad late last year.
He burst onto the NRL scene last season, playing every game on the left wing for the Raiders and scoring 16 tries in his debut campaign.
"I'm very excited to go, I can't wait til tomorrow, get ready to learn heaps, put my head down and work hard I guess," Cotric told Fairfax Media on Friday.
"It's always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to play for the Blues, but I still have a lot of hard work to go, just keep improving, but it would be a dream come true."
How will Cotric build on his stunning season?
The Canberra product only knows one way - to put his head down and work hard.
If he can do that and produce again for the Raiders then he thinks he'll be able to build on his stunning start to his career.
He's cemented himself on the Green Machine left wing, where he teamed up with Raiders captain Jarrod Croker, but played his junior football at centre and at fullback.
Where did he see himself in the future? He didn't care, as long as he was playing.
"Just keep working hard and the main thing is to play well for the Raiders and hopefully each week just be consistent," Cotric said.
While he was excited about the emerging Blues camp, Cotric said it has been a sad week at Raiders training.
The club's been mourning the death of former Raider Ottio, who died of what's believed to be severe heatstroke in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday - just days before he was due to leave to join up with Super League club Widnes.
Ottio's funeral was held in Port Moresby on Friday with thousands of mourners in attendance.
"It was a big shock to me and the whole club too. I can't believe what happened, he's so young," Cotric said.
"He's such a good fellow. He was a good mate of mine too. He got along with everyone here. It's been a sad week, but just got to get through it and do it for him."