Flying Souths Logan Magpies winger Matt Soper-Lawler has headed home to Newcastle after being offered a train-and-trial contract with Newcastle Knights.
After three years in the Intrust Super Cup competition - two years at the Sunshine Coast Falcons and one at the Magpies - and 67 games, he started pre season at his old club today.
Soper-Lawler last played for the Knights in 2016, when he played for both the Under 20s and New South Wales Cup sides.
The try-scoring freak, who scored the most tries in the Cup this year alongside the Falcons' Jon Reuben with 23, said opportunity drew him back down south.
"That's what brought me to Queensland in the first place... wherever the opportunity came up - anywhere, I was always going to take it," Soper-Lawler said, adding he had loved his time in the sunshine state.
"(Cup) toughened me up a lot and matured me a lot as well. It's a great competition - that's for sure. I loved playing in front of the good crowds - people get right behind it. I've loved it.
"My family have been really supportive. They flew up as much as they could so they didn't miss too many games. They did the tough slog and travelled, so now they're really happy to have me home."
The 23-year-old, who plays with plenty of flair and finesse, said he was fully focused on excelling in the game.
"I think every kid in Newcastle dreams of playing for the Knights," Soper-Lawler said.
"I'd love to play NRL - that's the main goal.
"That's the focus for now until it happens. If it doesn't , I'll have to focus on other things. But for now, for the next year or two, that's the focus - to put everything into it and hopefully reap the rewards.
"I play pretty passionate - always try to win and try and be the best player out there no matter what the scoreline is."
Soper-Lawler said he was inspired to keep striving for his goal by former Knights gun Nathan Ross.
"He played his NRL footy a bit later, which helps keep your spirits up when you think it's not going to happen for you and makes you think there's still opportunity," Soper-Lawler said.
Soper-Lawler, who has done a pre season with Melbourne Storm, said would certainly push himself during pre season.
"I can't wait - I'm really looking forward to it," Soper-Lawler said.
"It's going to be tough. If Adam O'Brien brings even half of what it's like in Melbourne, it's going to be pretty hard.
"I'll be training up until Christmas - the next seven weeks, then after that they will reassess where I'm at and if they're happy with me, they'll keep me on.
"Hopefully if I'm doing really well, they'll sign me."
The young gun, who his halfway through a carpentry apprenticeship, said he looked forward to training and playing with the Saifiti boys - Jacob and Daniel, and others he played Under 20s with.
"Another one is Zac Hosking. He's going to train as well so it'll be good to catch up with a few old mates. Obviously there's been a lot of changes there over the years - it'll be good to see," Soper-Lawler said.