In the eyes of nib Newcastle Knights forward Aidan Guerra, anything but reaching the finals in 2019 is unacceptable.
Last season, the Knights fell short of playing finals, finishing 11th but improved on their past three straight last-placed finishes.
Newcastle were hit hard by injuries in 2018, with high profile recruits like Mitchell Pearce, Slade Griffin and Tautau Moga all spending considerable time on the sidelines.
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The Knights haven't made the finals since 2013 and Guerra does believe they can break the drought in 2019.
"I think we definitely have a side that's full of people that can get us there," Guerra said.
"We showed the potential we've got, but if you don't reach your potential, it's just a waste."
Season 2018 was an exceptional year for Guerra who moved to the Knights from the Roosters.
The hard-working forward took out both the Coaches Award and the Gladiator Award at the Danny Buderus Medal awards night.
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The Knights have lost over 600 games in experience with the departure of forwards Chris Heighington and Jacob Lillyman.
But Guerra, who captain the Knights for nine games last season, believes the next generation of leaders will step up in 2019.
"Those 25-year-old are starting to step up as leaders," Guerra added.
"I've always tried to be pretty vocal and lead by example.
"Hopefully with the lost of those two older fellas, we'll get the next crop coming through and stepping up as leaders."
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Guerra has welcomed the signing of hard-running prop James Gavet from the Warriors and has hailed the recruitment that Nathan Brown and his staff have done for 2019.
"The recruitment staff and management have been making some pretty good moves," Guerra said.
"I think its one thing getting the players here but its what we do now moving forward will depend on how good we are as a football side.
"Last year, he (Gavet) ran at me and I didn't like it.
"Hopefully when he's wearing the same colour jersey he can do that to other sides."