As soon as Chris Houston signed with the Newcastle Knights in 2008, he knew it was a Club he never wanted to leave.
So the fact he’s re-signed with the Knights for an additional two years, has the 29-year-old forward excited about the future and motivated to establish a stronger leadership role.
“It’s something I always wanted from when I first came up here,” he told Knights TV after his first pre-season training session on Thursday.
“I was confident with (Rick) Stoney coming on board that we’d be able to sort something out and I’m looking forward to playing under him for the next two years.”
As one of the more experienced players among the squad, Houston's enthused about the Club’s new recruits and up-and-coming players.
“We have a lot of young guys coming up from our successful youth competition and that’s always great because there’s plenty of energy in the young guys,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to helping these young guys and passing on a bit of knowledge I’ve learnt off Wayne (Bennett) and also what Stoney is teaching the guys as well.
"We have some new faces here at the Club this year, Tariq Sims is one of the most well known one from the Cowboys, and he’ll be a great addition to our side.
“Jack Stockwell will be definitely keen to be pushing into that starting side.
“It will be good working with those guys and getting to know them a lot better.”
There are also new faces off the field and Houston expects the wealth of experience and chemistry between head coach Rick Stone and assistant coaches Danny Buderus and Craig Sandercock to bring out the best in him and his teammates.
“I really enjoyed playing under Stoney and I think I played some of my best football when he was coach in 2009,” he said.
“Danny Buderus has come on board with a more hands-on role this year with the team.
“His game experience is pretty much second to none.
“Craig Sandercock is a great coach too and those three are really working well together out there.
“It was a good mix with a bit of speed and a bit of conditioning then a lot of skill development which is going to be good for our team I think.
“I’ve learnt a fair bit today already in session one.
“It will be plenty of hard work no doubt, they always are. They don’t really get too much easier the older you get."