A phone call from Sydney two years ago sparked the fire in Josh Corbett's belly he was good enough to play in the AFL.

At the time he was running around for Werribee in the VFL, having not played TAC Cup or garnered any genuine interest from the higher level.

But after an excellent 2018 for the Tigers, and an innocuous incident that almost cost him his sight in one eye, the jack-in-the-box forward was given a chance by rebuilding Gold Coast to live out his dream.

And on Saturday, he'll take the next step with a debut against Brisbane at Metricon Stadium.

WATCH: Corbett shares his debut news with his mum

Speaking to AFL.com.au on match eve, Corbett said the call from the Swans gave him some genuine belief.

"It was the first time I'd heard from an AFL club," Corbett said.

"It wasn't much, just a little trial, but I thought maybe it (AFL) could work out for me

"I thought if I'm getting some interest I'd concentrate on getting really fit, focus on strength and conditioning and get myself in the best physical condition I could."

It took nine matches last year for Corbett to impress, before an accidental poke in the eye almost cost him more than his chance at progressing with footy.

"I was blind in my left eye for a month.

"I thought maybe my eyesight would play up and wondered whether I could see again.

"I hadn't experienced many injuries in my life, and that was very strange and out of the blue.

"It put everything into perspective.

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"I love my football, but you only get two eyes and you want to use them as long as you can. It wasn't about footy, it was about my health."

Corbett, who turned 23 earlier this week, had the eye drained, and after a month his vision returned.

He is one of the most energetic and positive people you could possibly meet, and fitted straight into the Suns when he moved in late October.

Possessed with a great leap, Corbett is also a strong runner and will play as a lead-up, third forward against the Lions.

Twenty-four hours after being told by coach Stuart Dew he would debut, he was still buzzing.

"I feel like a little kid at Christmas," he said.

"It's an absolute honour.

"I'm trying to treat it like any other game.

"I don't have a routine, I like to go with the flow. I just can't wait to get out there."