Chris Heighington is only in his third week of pre-season training with the nib Newcastle Knights, but already likes what he sees in the younger players.
The recently turned 36-year-old says he's impressed with the commitment to learning at training.
“All the younger boys are definitely up to it,” Heighington told Knights TV.
“They’re willing to learn and that’s half the issue these days because you’ve got to be willing to learn... they’ve definitely got that.”
A natural leader, Heighington believes it’s important that he and other experienced players make an impact while they can.
“When I or others finish up, you want to leave the young kids with something to build on to create their own careers and hopefully when they’re senior players, they can tell the younger players what to do as well.
“I like to get around the young kids, we’ve been working on a few things defensively and a few things after training so I might grab the middle players and go for a few drills.
“It’s been really good so far, the effort is there and everyone listens.”
Heighington thinks the Knights forward pack has a good mix of players for the season ahead.
“You need that to be successful with young kids coming through and working really hard,” he said.
“The senior blokes have got to lead the way, pull them aside and help them out in any areas.
“The kids are really enthusiastic and they can drive me forward as well.”
The two-time premiership winning forward says it’s been an easy transition to his new club.
“Everyone has made me feel really welcome, I’ve enjoyed it so far,” said Heighington.
“There's a good bunch of kids, older players and great coaching staff.
“I’m just trying to build combinations with my halves, hookers and five-eighths and to get the combinations with the forwards as well.”
Heighington is now looking forward to the team coming together for their first game as a new Knights outfit, with trial games set for next month.
Heighington admits he’s anticipating the kick-off of the new season.
“At my previous clubs, I thought I brought energy and enthusiasm so I’m going to try and do that this year as well and hopefully get through injury free,” he said.
“My goals are to play consistent footy, bring some enthusiasm to the team and hopefully a bit of experience.
“I’ve got no doubt that we’ll do well this year, the effort is there and everyone is buying into the plan and the system.”