Jaelen Feeney is making the most of his promotion to first grade, the young half starting in the number seven jersey in the past five games.
The 22-year-old describes himself as a vocal halfback with plenty to give.
“You need to be more dominant in halfback,” Feeney explained.
“I need to be loud, I need to be vocal and I need to be a leader in the team.
“As young as I am, it’s not an excuse, I’ve got the seven on my back and Lamby (Brock Lamb) has the six on his back, so we need to steer the team.”
Feeney admits he is not taking his position for granted.
“I have to perform week to week, I’ve got a past NSW Origin halfback in reggies who is playing some quality football,” he said.
“He has got a lot of experience and they call him Iceman for a reason, so I know if I don’t go out there and perform, then my spot is up for grabs.”
As one of the youngest halves combinations in the NRL, Feeney and Lamb are a precocious duo.
“I am popping up on his inside when I’m on his side of the field and he’s doing vice versa, so we’re definitely starting to understand each other in games a lot more,” commented Feeney.
“The more time we play together the better we will get.”
And better the young half has been, recording a season high 24 tackles in the side’s loss to the Manly Sea Eagles last week and also collecting his first NRL try.
“I'm off the nudie run now and it's my first try in the NRL which is good,” Feeney smiled.
“We make our own luck at the end of the day but I’m happy I could just cross the white line.”
While the Club may be looking to recruit more players for next season, Feeney sees it as chance to hone his skills.
“A half doesn’t really excel in the NRL until they're 25 or 26, so as long as I can continue to learn and if that’s behind a quality halfback in Cooper Cronk or James Maloney then that can only make me better,” Feeney explained.
“At the moment I am off contract at the end of this year and we’ll just see how it plays out, but if those players come, it doesn’t really phase me because I'm willing to learn off the best.
“I love Newcastle and everyone knows I love it here, and if they want to keep me then I’m willing to stay.”