Albert Kelly had never given up hope of playing in the NRL again and the veteran playmaker believes he can have a similar impact with the Broncos as Benji Marshall has for South Sydney.
Kelly, whose previous NRL appearance was in July 2014, steered Brisbane to just their third win of the season last Saturday night against Sydney Roosters.
In his almost seven years between NRL starts, Kelly played for Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull FC in the Super League.
He joined Brisbane on a train-and-trial contract upon his return to Australia at the end of last year.
Like Marshall, who was not offered a new contract by Wests Tigers last year, Kelly had to actively seek an opportunity to continue at the elite level and was playing for Souths Logan Magpies in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup before receiving a call up from Broncos coach Kevin Walters.
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Kelly believes he just needed a chance and now wants to secure a regular spot in the halves for Brisbane.
The next chance for the proud Indigenous man will come in Thursday's Indigenous Round clash with Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.
"You look at Benji, he is still killing it and he is in red hot form. I know for a fact that I have still got it, and you could have asked me that seven years ago." Kelly said.
"The hunger was always there, I just never really had an opportunity. I made the call to come home and it wasn’t even a big opportunity, it was a small one.
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"I am just proud that I took the chance with both hands and it is just overwhelming really. The first time I debuted was special but to come here after seven years and do it again was very emotional for myself and my family."
Kelly’s three young children, Brida, Bayla and Boston, were the reason he turned his back on the financial security of a contract with Hull FC.
The 30-year-old was a star in Super League and could have earned far more money than his current deal but he and partner Mtia Tass decided to bring their family home to Australia.
Like Marshall, who phoned Souths coach Wayne Bennett looking for an opportunity to play, Kelly is on a cut-price deal.
"I sacrificed a lot of things to come home," Kelly said.
"I robbed my kids of their families [during his time in England] so for them to come home and see their grand-parents and cousins, that meant more to me than getting an opportunity, but I got both and I just took it with both hands.
I am just proud that I took the chance with both hands and it is just overwhelming reallyBrisbane halfback Albert Kelly
"I have been playing overweight for the last one or two years and I came home and I knew what was ahead of me, what I had to sacrifice and how much hard work I had to put in and I did that in spades."
While Kelly isn’t looking too far into the future, the former Sharks and Titans playmaker believe his experience can benefit the young Broncos team and he demonstrated that in the 34-16 win against the Roosters.
After his first kick went out on the full, Kelly maintained his composure to lay on a try for John Asiata with a perfectly weighted in-goal grubber and produced a 40/20 kick late in the match.
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"That’s what I am in the team for. I bring a different dimension to other halfbacks. I can see the potential in players who aren’t really performing, and I can help them tap into their confidence," Kelly said.
Broncos assistant coach John Cartwright, who had charge of Kelly at the Gold Coast, praised him for the sacrifices and hard work behind his NRL return.
"He has done it all himself and he has done it the hard way," Cartwright said. "He just loves playing football and he competes hard. He has always had a lot of ability."