From the time he appeared on NRL's Footy Show as a kid and declared he wanted to play for the nib Newcastle Knights, Connor Watson is living out his dream.
This week the 22-year-old had to be reminded that he'll clock up his 50th NRL match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday.
The Knights half admits the mini milestone snuck up on him.
"I forgot about it, it's pretty cool," Watson laughed.
"It has gone fast, really fast; I always wanted to play one game as a kid but to be playing my 50th is pretty special.
"You get caught up in the day to day; you go to training, get through it all, go home and then you come back the next day and do it all again, so you don't really sit back and look at it too much."
In just a short period, Watson has packed a lot into his football career.
It all started at the Sydney Roosters for the five-eighth: he got a taste of finals footy and is now in the red and blue playing a prominent part in Newcastle's starting 13.
"I had no idea my career would pan out like this, I was just stoked to get my first game and fulfil my dream," Watson commented.
"I always wanted to do this as a kid since I first started playing footy as a five-year-old and it's worked out."
Coming from the Roosters, where most of the playing roster had a healthy run of NRL games under their belts, Watson is getting into seasoned territory with the Knights.
"Back at the Roosters you had all the 200 gamers and all the boys had played over 100 games," he said.
"Probably myself, Latrell (Mitchell) and Joey Manu were sort of the only ones who were really fresh into our career, but it is a bit of a different way to look at it up here.
"I'm still only young and still only early into my career and the majority of the side is."
And the young half has had to get used to a plethora of changes throughout the season.
"There's been a lot of chopping and changing all year and I was injured for a bit there and also the change in the back row a few times. Myself, Barney (Mitch Barnett), Sione (Mata'utia) and SKD (Shaun Kenny-Dowall) are starting to really combine and play some footy which we're capable of doing," Watson stated.
"It was a hard thing trying to build those combinations, it was taking a little bit of time, but I think we've got there."
As the Bulldogs battle salary cap and injury woes, this weekend becomes a must win for the Knights which have been searching for their next win.
Watson will be up against newbie Lachlan Lewis, who makes his NRL debut on Saturday, but it's someone he's had a rivalry with before.
"I played touch against him when he was 12 years old, he was playing for Queensland and I was playing for NSW so met him then when he was a young kid," said Watson.
"I versed him all through the 20s, he was at Canberra when I played him, so he was a good player.
"He's probably really looking forward to this weekend and making his NRL debut, so he'll only be ripping in which will make it so much harder for us."
"The Bulldogs are a good team in their own right, they haven't had things go their way this year, but we really need to turn out, play hard and compete and play the footy that we know we're capable of."
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