Roosters recruit Brock Lamb knows there is a chance he won't add to his 32 NRL caps in 2019, but says a shift from the Hunter to Sydney had to happen to get him out of his comfort zone.
Lamb says he is refreshed and happy in his new home in Sydney's eastern suburbs and is just looking to get some consistency in his game for the North Sydney Bears in the Intrust Super Premiership after a tumultuous two years in and out of Newcastle's NRL side.
He is definitely playing the long game – he knew he would be biding his time behind star halves Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary at Bondi but the chance to learn from the pair with a view to hopefully partnering Keary following Cronk's eventual retirement was an enormous carrot when he was assessing his future.
"It was pretty important for me to move out of my comfort zone in Newcastle and test myself again," Lamb told NRL.com.
"We've got Luke and Cooper there who are two of the best in the game to learn off so hopefully it improves my game."
The move – his first time even living out of home, let alone the Hunter – has opened his eyes both in terms of football and life.
"I lived at home, been in Newcastle my whole life, everything was the same so I wanted to move and make a change then obviously when the chance popped up to come to the Roosters with two of the best halves in the game, it's hard to say no to," he said.
"I really wanted to push to try and get here. Moving to Sydney was a big change in itself but everything's working out well, I'm enjoying myself which is good and I feel happy.
"[Newcastle is] an unreal spot and I loved it there but for me, where I was at, coming in [to first grade] early, I needed change.
"I felt comfortable. I didn't want to get caught in that trap and I was slowly starting to, playing inconsistent footy. I was just happy playing footy but once the chance came to move, I thought 'that's what I need to do'.
"At times it was tough but now I couldn't see life differently. Maybe one day later in my career I might end up back there but now I want to focus on this and I'm very happy here."
The tough times Lamb refers to include debuting as a very green 19-year-old in a woefully understrength Knights team in 2016; being part of a squad that picked up the 2016 and 2017 wooden spoons and winning just two of his first 20 NRL games.
It also includes one match at Belmore in round 18 of 2017, when a wayward kick allowed the Dogs to score a try and steal the lead right before full-time before a last-gasp chance at an equaliser via a penalty missed the posts by a huge distance.
Lamb's maturity was on show even back then, volunteering to front up to media the next day, and now an older and wiser Lamb says he wouldn't change any of it given where he is now.
"It's been a bit rocky, I guess," he said.
"I wouldn't change anything of how it happened but in saying that I feel like there's a lot of learning to do and that's part of the reason for moving down here."
While 2018 was an improved one for the Knights, who got away from the bottom rung of the ladder after a horror three seasons, it was still a tough one for Lamb. He started the season behind star recruits Mitch Pearce, Connor Watson and Kalyn Ponga in the three playmaking roles and finished with just eight NRL caps and signed with the Roosters in August.
"It was tough, I was on the bench the first few games then had a couple of games then went back to reserve grade so it was a bit mixed," he recalled.
"But all in all I've got this opportunity now so as tough as the year was, to get a contract at the Roosters I guess it's ended successfully for me."
Lamb was effusive about his short time at the Roosters and the impact of coach Trent Robinson.
"It feels like a level above, the way they train, the consistency," Lamb said.
"Some of the boys could be crook as a dog and you wouldn't know on the field, you get there, rock up, do your job no matter what's going on. That's definitely what I needed and I'm loving that about it.
"[Robinson has] been good, he's good to talk to, he's a successful coach and he understands what it takes to be successful. You sit there with your ears open and listen to everything you can.
"Coming from that comfortable lifestyle, cruising through life he's opening my eyes a bit more which is good."