Last pre-season would have been a blur for Jaelen Feeney, as he trained in a new position at fullback, played in the Auckland Nines and a trial match against the Raiders, and then handed his debut in Round 1.
This pre-season he has returned to his favoured position in the halves, and says he’s feeling settled ahead of the new campaign.
“I’ve had a big pre-season in the halves and I’m looking forward to taking that into the year,” he told Knights TV.
“We trialled last year at fullback and I enjoyed the whole experience, but I definitely feel more comfortable in the halves.
“It’s where I’ve played most of my career, and I feel more settled and I can just work on things that I need to work on.”
Feeney made five NRL appearances last year, the majority of which he played out of his favoured position.
This season he’s competing with Trent Hodkinson, Will Pearsall, Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger for a place at either halfback or five-eighth, and says the competition for places has made everybody up their game.
“Everyone’s pushing for a position and all five of us are training really hard,” he explained.
“The more competitive it is, the better everyone is going to play at the end of the day.”
Teams traditionally only take one or two recognised halves to the Auckland Nines as well, so each of the four younger players will be eyeing a ticket to New Zealand as an opportunity to further their claims for selection in Round 1.
“Browny has kept it top secret, so hopefully we find out pretty soon,” Feeney said of Nines selection.
“I went last year and I really enjoyed it, so I just want to build on last year and get back over there.”
It’s certainly an enjoyable time for the players that travel, as they get to cap off a long pre-season with a weekend of fun football and meeting Members and fans.
“I reckon it’s one of the best times of year,” Feeney said,
“You get to have a good run against some fresh faces and different opposition.”