Off-contract Cowboys forward John Asiata admits to feeling the pressure about his future as he prepares to embark on his seventh straight season with North Queensland.
After moving to Townsville as a teenager to launch his NRL career, the utility finds himself without a club in 2021 and hopes a strong start to this year's Telstra Premiership season will help his cause.
"I would be lying if I said I was not fazed at all because it is a tough period," Asiata said.
"I have a wife and two kids and all you want to do is make sure there is security behind your career."
Before Christmas, Asiata met the Gold Coast and toured their facility after Titans coach Justin Holbrook expressed an interest in the 26-year-old.
However, Asiata said he wasn't looking to move just yet.
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"The Cowboys have been very supportive," he said.
"This is where I debuted. They gave me my first NRL pre-season. The club has looked after my family; I lost some family in 2016 and having the club support me with what I needed at the time was massive.
"Our club here at the Cowboys is very family-oriented."
Asiata believes 2019 was his best year in Townsville as he transitioned from playing in the middle to playing five-eighth at times.
The talented ball-player made 12 appearances in the halves last season and played in every match.
"I was in and out with different positions but I played every game," Asiata said.
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"It was a challenge but I thought I did pretty well. Personally I hit some goals that I wanted to hit.
"I thought it was going to be a tough period but I thought what I did was pretty good."
A strong start in 2020, beginning with the round one blockbuster against the Broncos at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, will be key to Asiata's future.
"I'm not worried but I am sort of feeling the pressure that this year has got to be a good year," he said.
"It doesn't matter if it is at the beginning and I get signed in the middle, but I need to play well."