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David Fa’alogo is huffing and puffing.

Standing on the edge of the field covered in sweat, Fa’alogo is sucking in the big ones after completing his second training session for the year.

The veteran prop has just come back from a break, including a family holiday on the Gold Coast, so he is understandably breathing heavily.

Fa’alogo also knows he is no longer the fresh-faced rookie who made his top grade debut for South Sydney back in 2003.

It’s why he has to work even harder to maintain the standard heading into his 12th season as a first grade footballer this year.

Asked if his lungs were screaming after another full-on pre-season session, the 33-year-old just grinned and remarked: "They always do."

"The older I get, the harder it gets.

"But as long as I put in, do the hard work and put in my best, then that’s the main thing.

"It was tough and that’s what I expected, but I managed to get through the whole session and all is well."

As Fa'alogo is fully aware after over a decade in the game, pre-seasons aren't designed to be easy.

In fact, the summer slog becomes more difficult with every season as your body inevitably tires with time.

This may be true, but it hasn't stopped Fa'alogo from putting in the extra effort to ensure he keeps pace with his younger teammates.

The veteran bookend played 22 games in his maiden season at the Knights last year and he is determined as ever to back up that performance again in 2014.

"It sort of makes me hungrier," he enthuses.

"Last year was my first season at the Knights and it was hard work and effort when I first came back from the UK.

"I wanted to show the boys and the coaching staff that I’m still willing to play and put my hand up.

"This year again will be no different, so I’ll be working hard and doing my best for the season coming."

There's no doubting Fa'alogo experienced a successful season in 2013.

On top of proving he could still cut it in the NRL after three seasons with the Huddersfield Giants in the English Super League, he also got a chance to represent Samoa at the World Cup.

Fa'alogo played every game for the Samoans to help the tiny island nation go as far as the quarter-final stage, where they bowed out against the flying Fijians.

"It was a great experience," he says.

"It’s priceless to represent my Samoan heritage and enjoy the cammradrie that the players have.

"To play alongside the future Samoan rugby league players was something that I’ll cherish.

"Hopefully if anymore games come my way I’ll be willing to put my hand up and play for Samoa again."

With the World Cup now done and dusted, Fa'alogo is focused on the new NRL season and helping the Knights show the league world they are more than capable of competing with the best in the game.

He believes the Club are well served up front with a number of young players ready to take on more responsibility this season.

"Competition always brings out the best in players and to have that is priceless for the young players knowing they have to push themselves," he says.

"It also puts an onus on myself to push myself, so it is always good to have that competitiveness.

"You’ve just got to put the hard yards in and you’ll eventually get somewhere.

"I’m looking forward to the footy, but I’m also looking forward to the progression I’ll make as well in terms of training.

"I just want to get a few kilometres in the legs again and go from there.”

It’s a determined attitude that will ensure Fa’alogo will again be ready for anything thrown his way in 2014.