While he may be the oldest player in the nib Newcastle Knights squad, new father Mickey Paea says he’s feeling revitalised ahead of 2017.
On November 25 Mickey’s partner, Alisha, gave birth to Elijah Kingston Paea.
Mickey says his son has given him a new perspective on life, and while he isn’t getting much sleep, the 30-year-old comes to training with fresh excitement.
“I’m really enjoying it and he’s given me a new lease on life,” Paea said.
“Whilst I’m not getting the same amount of sleep, I still look forward to coming to training.
“We’re learning more about Elijah every day and he’s learning more about us, so it’s been good.”
Paea says he feels the extra responsibility at home, but not so much at training as the Club’s most senior citizen.
“At most clubs I probably wouldn’t be the oldest player, it just happens that I’m the oldest player here,” Paea explained.
“Being the oldest doesn’t mean you’re the most experienced though.”
Paea also echoes the thoughts of many of his teammates, in that there has been plenty of improvement from the squad this pre-season.
“There’s guys like Jamie Buhrer who have taken on that leadership role, Dane Gagai is as vocal as I’ve seen him at training,” he added.
“We’re improving every week, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
With the seventh week of pre-season training having commenced, there’s only two weeks to go until the Christmas break now.
“We’ve got two more weeks of training, so we’re looking to finish off strong and enjoy our break,” Paea said.
“Whilst it’s been tough, there was a lot that we took out of that year.
“We know what we need to work on and I can assure everyone that we’re working really hard.”