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Newcastle Knights celebrate at the Season  Awards on the 8th of September 2016 at Wests, New Lambton NSW Australia. © NRL Photos / Photographer: Paul Barkley

Despite only playing 16 games in 2016, Sione Mata'utia still received the most votes over the length of the season from his teammates to be named Players' Player at the Newcastle Knights' Awards Evening.

"It's definitely an award that you hold highly," Mata'utia told Knights TV.

"The boys beside me is why I go and play my heart out."

Despite how tough the 2016 season has been for the red and blues, Mata'utia says he has enjoyed every minute of it, and draws enjoyment from the players around him.

"It was a pretty hard season, but the players still rocked up to training with a smile and eager to learn," he explained.

"It's really infectious, so that's why I always come in with a smile."

Mata'utia is looking to go bigger and better with his personal game in 2017 as well, targeting the upcoming pre-season that starts on November 1.

"All the boys are a bit nervous about it, but it's very exciting," he said.