nib Newcastle Knights forward Mitch Barnett admits it was a massive shock to win the prestigious Danny Buderus Medal at the Club’s presentation night on Thursday.

“I wasn’t expecting anything coming here tonight but it’s a massive honour,” said Barnett.

“I couldn’t be happier, I’m overwhelmed at the moment and it’s a massive honour to receive two awards.”

The 23-year-old, who also took out the Gladiator of the Year award, said he was thankful for the faith coach Nathan Brown and the coaching staff had shown in him.

“They got me to the Club and gave me my opportunity,” Barnett stated.

“I wanted to work hard, not let anyone down and it just gives me confidence that my coach has got my back and the boys have got my back.

“If I can go into pre-season now and work hard like I did last year, hopefully I can come out next year bigger, stronger and better.”

The Knights forward believes hard work is the key to a successful career.

“Hard work is something that you’ve got to do if you want to make it in this profession,” explained Barnett.

“I have worked hard so far and I will continue to work hard and never slack off.”

That determination has been shown this season with his handy work in the middle, recording 763 tackles for the Knights, sitting just under top tackler Danny Levi.

“Danny (Levi) and I probably spend most of the time in the middle and we probably see a lot more traffic than everybody else,” admitted Barnett.

“It is a part of my role in the team but stats aside, I’m just trying to do my best to win a game for the boys.”

Barnett is confident 2018 will be a big year for the Knights.

“The Club is recruiting really well and I have no doubt in my mind that the boys are going to develop even further with another pre-season under their belt including myself,” Barnett declared.

“I know 2018 is going to be a lot better year for us if we continue to work hard.”