Intimidation factor aids Knights' Clydsdale
There's aren't too many things considered more daunting than stepping into the world of the NRL and playing first-grade football for your first real crack at the big time.
Mix in the added pressure of playing under one of the most influential and successful coaches rugby league has ever had to offer in Wayne Bennett and you can understand why 21-year-old tyro Adam Clydsdale is slightly intimidated when he throws on his customary No. 14 jumper for the Newcastle Knights.
"[Wayne's] pretty scary," Clydsdale admits to NRL.com.
"He's the best coach in the world ever though, everyone knows that. I've learnt a lot over these past couple of years that I've played under him so it's been good and I've listened to everything he's said.
"I'm really enjoying it. I'm starting to get a lot more confidence. Like when I get on, I might not play many minutes, so I make the most of it when I can and take my opportunities from there."
After a knee injury hampered him just before the commencement of the season Clydsdale has played nine games for the Knights in 2014, rotating with his captain Kurt Gidley from dummy-half.
With the young hooker waving off interest from the Sea Eagles and signing a three-year deal with the Knights last year there is an eventual hope that he can emulate Knights part-time assistant coach and club legend Danny Buderus.
"I had a pretty good pre-season and I finally got my crack and I haven't looked back from there. I keep trying to improve each week and trying to do the right things by the team," Clydsdale said.
"Danny always works with us boys. I suppose it is a bit of a dream come true. I grew up watching Danny Buderus play and I never thought I'd get the opportunity to work him."
With a chance to take on Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah this weekend, the Scone Thoroughbred junior denies that a showdown with the New South Wales Origin hooker beckons.
"I don't know about that," Clydsdale laughs.
"I just have to worry about my performance and keep trying to place consistent and hold my spot I suppose.
"It's another tough weekend and we have the miners' day this weekend so hopefully we can get a big win for them because they are a big part of our community.
"We'll stick together as a team and hopefully we can get the win this weekend."
With last week's loss to the Warriors extending the Knights' losing streak to five matches, Clydsdale said a lack of execution had been letting the team down.
"We did complete well, and [the Warriors last weekend] completed well too but we'll just keep competing every week and hopefully things can start turning around for us," Clydsdale said.
"[Wayne] didn't say too much after the Warriors game. He more said at the end of the day we need to stick together and eventually it'll work for us because we're doing the right thing, it's just execution.
"We are still all positive and things will change. Everything will start working for us and we'll start putting a few wins together."