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Flashback! O'Brien's first day in Newcastle

You can't blame a person for wanting to take a few weeks to celebrate winning a premiership.

We've all seen the Melbourne Storm players on Instagram following the Grand Final, with the likes of Cameron Munster and Brandon 'Cheese' Smith entertaining the masses with their antics following their victory over Penrith.

A year earlier, Adam O'Brien had every reason to throw his feat up and toast a premiership win of his own, after assisting the Sydney Roosters in their successful campaign for back-to-back titles in 2019.

However, the man known as 'AOB' had other ideas.

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Just a few days after the 14-8 triumph over Canberra, O'Brien was itching to get to work.

"It must've been the weekend after, I just wanted to get up there (to Newcastle)," O'Brien told the Brett Finch Uncensored podcast.

"I wasn't due to arrive for another two or three weeks."

While the Roosters were still well in the thick of some well earned celebrating, O'Brien made tracks up the M1 to start planning for season 2020.

"I got dropped off at Central Station and caught the train up," he said.

"I thought I'd just go in there and get a feel for the joint without anyone being there."

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What greeted O'Brien at Knights HQ wasn't an empty office or field full of four-leaf clovers.

"I rolled in at 7:30am on the first day and there was 19 players there training," O'Brien said.

"They didn't have to be there for another month.

"I just thought, 'geez that's a good sign'.

"They must've gotten on the WhatsApp group because 19 turned into 26 the next day."

One man who stood out to O'Brien was the skipper, Mitchell Pearce.

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"He (Pearce) was so energetic, and that's what he is at training everyday," he said.

"You won't get a better trainer than Mitchell, and I think that summed up his season as well.

"Every week, I know he's going to try his backside off."

The pre-season that followed O'Brien's arrival has been heralded as one of the toughest ever undertaken by a Newcastle Knights team, with the team put through a torturous series of sessions designed to test their resilience.

However, it wasn't just the blood, sweat and tears which had O'Brien proud of the team.

"I was really proud of our pre-season, not just in terms of the training ethic and the work we got done, but we did a lot of community work in and around the bushfires and I just felt that we had a really good bunch of people here," O'Brien said.

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"That's a big recipe for success.

"You get good people in your joint who want to work hard, that's a big foundation that you need."

With the 2021 pre-season well underway, let's hope that foundation continues to build.

You can listen to O'Brien's full chat with Brett Finch by clicking here.