Michael Dobson didn’t think he'd ever line up against the Canberra Raiders.
As a Raiders junior who worked his way up to the top grade ranks in 2007-08, Dobson never considered the prospect of tackling the Green Machine.
Even when he spent six seasons in England with Catalans, Wigan and Hull KR, the Junee-born halfback thought he'd finish his career there and coming back to play the Raiders wasn't an option.
This is set to change on Saturday when Dobson takes on his former club for the first time in the Knights' trial against Canberra at Tamworth’s Scully Park.
"I never imagined playing Canberra, because I was overseas for so long," Dobson tells Knights TV.
"But you never know what is around the corner so it will be good to come up against the Raiders and hopefully I get a chance again during the year as well.
"It will be especially good to play against some of the boys that were there when I was there.
"Blokes like Glen Buttriss, big Tommy Learoyd and Dane Tilse, because I played a lot of footy with them when I was back there.
"But they’ve changed a lot since I was there five-and-a-half years ago."
Now well and truly entrenched in the red-and-blue of Newcastle, Dobson is working hard to try and cement a position in the Club's top squad.
The 27-year-old will get his chance to impress against the Raiders this weekend and it's a challenge he can't wait to confront head on.
"I’ve just got to do the best I can, keep working hard and see where I end up after that," he says.
"So I’ve just got to take my opportunities when they come and just work hard as part of the team.
"I want to build on my performance against the Goannas, try and improve on the things I need to improve on and see how I end up after that."
Dobson says the competition for spots has made pre-season training intense, but admits that's also a positive for the Club going forward.
"It’s a massive bonus," he enthuses.
"You’ve got to have depth in positions if you want to be successful.
"You are going to have injuries during the season, but it’s how you cover them.
"So it’s up to us blokes who are coming in to step up and do the business when we come in.
"We’ve just got to keep working hard as a group.
"If we keep having the depth and good competition for spots, that only makes training better for the group.
"I’m looking forward to it, obviously it’s going to be a tough game."
After impressing in the Club's opening trial against the First Nations Goannas, Dobson will get another opportunity to shine against the Raiders on Saturday.
Asked if he is expecting any sledging from his former Canberra teammates, the Knights' recruit joked he may have to avoid some of his more intimidating mates in Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Dane Tilse.
“Oh I’m not too sure, probably,” Dobson grins.
“Hopefully I’m not tackling them too much, because they are pretty big boys.”
Not that Dobson will have the time for sledging anyway, because he'll be focused on his new club in red and blue.