This time last year, Sam Williams was downing the Eels in a trial game and declaring he was prepared to bide his time behind Jack Wighton and Aidan Sezer.
Twelve months on and with a century of NRL games within reach, Williams was again the star in a trial win and once again declaring his support for his club's first-choice halves.
On Friday February 15 last year, the Raiders trailed the Eels 20-10 with just over a minute left in a trial at St Marys before Williams scored a solo try then helped create another the next set, kicking both conversions – one from the sideline – to steal the win.
Afterwards he told NRL.com he supported Sezer and Wighton being the first-choice halves and went on to play 10 NRL games in the Raiders' push towards a grand final appearance.
After scoring and converting the late try that took the Raiders from 10-6 down to a 12-10 win in Port Macquarie last Saturday, the 28-year-old was again proving his team-first ethos.
"I came on the back end of that game so it was important to come on and have some fresh legs but every game you wear the green jersey is an opportunity to stake your claim," Williams told NRL.com.
Match Highlights: Bulldogs v Raiders
"You want to try and play well but it was important George [Williams] and Jacko got a good run together. I think they showed some good signs going forward. The squad as a whole, although there was a few things we can work on, had a good run."
Of his own place in Ricky Stuart's halves puzzle, Williams added "I know the game and how it all works".
"We're very lucky, we've got a good group of mates and although not everyone can play everyone's pushing each other to do well.
"If my time comes at some stage through the year I've just got to make sure I'm ready and hopefully the club's in a good position."
The Cooma product batted away NRL.com's suggestion there may be some clubs where he would be higher up the halves pecking order.
Soward's Say: 2020 Raiders
"This is my home club," he said.
"I'm happy, and I go into training happy every day and we've got a good bunch of blokes here.
"The squad as a whole, there's 30-odd players and we're all striving to be part of a premiership winning squad. That's the aim for everyone and whatever role each individual can play in us getting there, it's important we do it.
"We didn't do what we set out to do last year (win a premiership). There's plenty of players who want to make amends for it.
"It's a long season and we have to win a lot of games between now and then."