It’s taken a long time to eventuate, but Newcastle junior Anthony Tupou will finally run out in the red and blue of his beloved hometown in 2017.

Coming into his 13th season of first grade, the 33-year-old forward says he idolised the Knights when he was growing up.

“I’m so happy that I finally ended up here,” he said in a press conference on Thursday morning.

“Joey Johns and Paul Harragon… that was my era of watching as a kid at Marathon Stadium.

Tupou has played 234 games for two different NRL clubs, but his passion for the Knights remains.

“We didn’t miss a game, my younger brothers and I,” he reminisced.

“We would play footy out on the front lawn pretending we were those blokes (Johns and Harragon).

“It really is special to me… we lived and breathed the Knights when we were young.”

Coming into 2017, Tupou says he expects that he will be used as an impact player through the middle.

“Everyone wants to start, but I think Browny will have me coming off the bench and I think I’d like that,” he said.

“I’d like to play in the middle somewhere, as an impact player.”