Corey Oates wants to be a Brisbane Broncos player for the rest of his career and has targeted retaining his Maroons jersey in 2019 as the first step in achieving his goal.
The 24-year-old winger, who was recalled for game three of this year's State of Origin series after being left out of the first two games, re-signed with the Broncos on Tuesday on a one-year deal.
He said being retained in Kevin Walters' side "will be massive" towards securing his Broncos future.
"I'd love to make the team next year for Origin in game one. That is my goal and what I am pushing for," Oates said.
"I want to play well each week for the Broncos but if I can get a jersey in the Origin team it would be unbelievable and help a lot to secure a long deal and stay in Brisbane.
"I want to stay forever. I always loved the Broncos as a kid. When you support a team so long and get a chance to play for them… I feel like this is where I belong and want to stay. It is rare that people stay with one club their whole careers but I want to be one of those players."
Oates said signing a one-year deal was "the right way to go" after his frustration mounted at not being able to train with the squad in the pre-season.
"You can only hang on for so long. I've been at pre-season for two weeks and haven't been able to train with the team and you just feel out of it when you train on your own," he said.
"If I'd waited another three or four weeks it just wouldn't have felt right to not do the pre-season before Christmas, and then come into the team.
"You are still training to get fit and the boys are getting flogged. I was over it. They (the Broncos) had so much to deal with and I didn't want them just dealing with me and my contract."
There were also concerns the Broncos salary cap squeeze might force him out.
"You hear all these little things, that there is no money left… and that scared me a bit. My manager George (Mimis) said 'you'll be right'. We didn't talk about the money side of things too much. He just said 'do you trust me?' and I said 'yep'," Oates said.
"Last year when I did the one-year deal it was a bit daunting… but once you've done it before it is not so hard to do another one. Hopefully I can prove my worth again and get a long term deal."
Oates also never wanted to leave a club where the fans adore him so much.
"I have grown to really love being around the fans and going out and doing the promotional stuff," he said.
"There is just a different vibe when you play for the Broncs. The fans get you going and they are really true fans. They love this club so much and pay to come and see us every week. Getting the XXXX Fan Player of the Year [award] was another big one for me."
The Maroons fans also have taken to the knockabout country lad from Central Queensland, which is why he wants to play in front of them next year.
General public tickets will be on sale Thursday for next year's Holden State of Origin I, at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on June 5, and game three at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on July 10.
The NRL has also released an additional round of tickets for game two, at Perth's Optus Stadium on June 23.
Oates can't wait to be part of the Perth clash, the first time an Origin match will be held there, but does not want to be selected just because NFL-bound Valentine Holmes is unavailable.
"People are always going to say 'Val left and that is the only reason you are making it' but that is not how I see it. I don't want to be second to anyone. I prefer to work for my spot and show that I want it more than anyone else," Oates said.
"I'd be very excited to make that team for Perth. The stadium looks great. It holds 60,000 and I think they have sold over 30,000 tickets. They are going quick and if it sells out it will be a cracker of a second Origin. I've never been to Perth so it will be really good to be part of."
*Tickets will be available from $50 for Holden State of Origin matches in Sydney and Brisbane in 2019. Origin tickets will be available from nrl.com/tickets