Ask David Klemmer about his first pre-season at the nib Newcastle Knights and he'll tell you he feels like a kid starting his NRL journey.
Having spent a short time with the squad, Klemmer is relishing life in the Hunter.
'It's been tough, it feels like I've started frst grade again'
The 25–year-old admits that although the transition into a new club has had its challenges, a fresh environment has been nothing but a positive thing for him and his family.
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"The kids love it, near the water and they are really enjoying it. So far so good," Klemmer said.
"I've been here for three or four weeks now and it's been pretty tough, it feels like I've started first-grade again.
"It is a good environment to be in and the boys have come back in good shape, the boys are running really well and we have really been strong on our discipline and where we want to be this year.
"It is a great bunch of blokes, a lot of great talent across the park. Just being out there on the fieldwork sessions, there is talent all across, a lot of excitement everywhere. It is really pleasing."
Klemmer says that despite coming back a little underweight in the New Year, he is already becoming much fitter and stronger each training session.
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He credits his gains to Head of Physical Performance, Balin Cupples and the new High-Performance Unit.
"The boys were training for about four to five weeks," he said.
"I had to be close to that. Just my weight was probably a bit down, obviously I wasn't lifting much weight over the break but I am getting up there now. I am getting stronger and I feel good.
"As a group we want to take it to another level and our training HP unit is doing that as well.
"There is a lot of running and high intensity running under fatigue and going back into sessions, which is really good for the times in the game when you are under the pump you have to work under that fatigue and the boys are doing really well with that."
The NSW State of Origin representative is now counting down the days to the new season.
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With trial matches lined up against St George Illawarra and Cronulla, he believes the hit-outs will be a good challenge for the Knights squad.
"Day by day it is getting closer and closer to play footy and we can't wait," he said.
"Both of those teams played semi-final football last year and they have talent across the park, so it will be a good test for us as a squad, to get different combinations working and a lot of young blokes pushing for spots so we can see how they go."