Emerging Knights' forward Brenton Horwood can't contain his excitement heading into tonight's trial match at Hunter Stadium against the First Nations Goannas.
And why not, you see it was only last year when Horwood was plugging away in the Club's NSW Cup ranks as a part-timer whilst also returning to play locally for Maitland and working as an aircraft maintenance engineer.
Now the proud Pumpkin Picker will step up to Newcastle's top team for their trial against the Goannas after impressing in pre-season training.
It's quite a rise for Horwood, who reveals he quit his engineering job this week to spend more time chasing his NRL dream.
"I did an apprenticeship at Williamtown and did all the maintenance on the F18 fighter jets," 22-year-old Horwood explains.
"I was there for almost five years, before I got made redundant late last year.
"I was just going to have the summer off and concentrate on footy with the Knights and maybe some personal training on the side.
"But then I got a phone call from a competitor of my old job at Williamtown.
"So I worked there for three months, but then resigned this week because I needed to have some flexibility with training.
"I really want to pursue a footy career, so I didn’t want to let them down.
"I’ve only got a small window to chase my career.”
Horwood will come off the bench in the number 19 jumper tonight and he's hoping to impress with a solid performance.
He also reveals how he played junior football in Maitland alongside Knights back-rower Robbie Rochow.
"I'm absolutely pumped to play against the Goannas," he enthuses.
"It's a great opportunity to prove myself and try and cement a spot at the Knights like Robbie.
"I've always looked up to him.
"He was a tall lanky fullback as a kid and now he has grown into a big powerhouse back-rower.
"So it’s great to follow in his footsteps.
“I’m happy to be training with the full-time squad now and after getting a taste last year in the NSW Cup I feel a lot more confident knowing I’ve been there and done that.
"Now playing in this trial is like a dream come true and it’s something that I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
"I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get here, but that's fine because this is where I want to be."
The Knights take on the First Nations Goannas at Hunter Stadium on Saturday. Gates open at 3pm, at 3.15pm NSW Indigenous Women take on QLD Indigenous Women and at 4.50pm NSW Indigenous U16 Boys play against QLD Indigenous U16 Boys. The Knights v Goannas match kicks off at 7pm. A reminder Troy Cassar-Daley is performing prior to the main match. Tickets available through Ticketmaster or at the gate. We hope to see you at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon!