AT the start of 2019, Albion Park-Oak Flats product Dylan Lucas was hoping to play a couple of games for the Newcastle Knights Jersey Flegg side.
Especially as was in the first of his two years eligible for the NSWRL competition.
But Lucas has made such an impression - starting from when he first arrived at McDonald Jones Stadium - that the year has already exceeded his expectations.
"Transitioning into the Knights club was a big change for me but a good one," Lucas said.
"It was especially hard going into a team where I didn't know anyone."
But staying true to his work ethic he developed in Group Seven, the versatile half/back-rower quickly helped Scott Dureau's Knights under 20s side on the field.
"My form for the start of the under 20s season has been okay - I have just been focusing on my role and make sure I was doing it well," he said.
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Despite his modesty, the 19-year-old obviously made an impression on the Knights' Canterbury Cup coach Rory Kostjasyn.
"I found out at the start of the week I'd been called up to the Canterbury Cup side - it was a big shook but something I embraced," Lucas said.
"It was really great training with those older guys and learning off them."
Although he didn't play as many minutes as he would have hoped in the 12-nil win against the Warriors.
"Just getting an opportunity to compete at level was enough for me," he said.
"Especially when the Dragons said that they weren't sure whether I was ready for 20s this year.
"This experience is something I will definitely look to build on, as the coaches were happy with what I did in my time on the field."
While not getting too far ahead of himself, Lucas hopes this gets him another step closer to his dream of playing first grade.
"I feel as though the club has faith in me, as they have the trust in me to play Canterbury Cup this year, which I wasn't expecting to play at all," he said.
"Being a part of this squad is definitely another step closer to me achieving my NRL debut dream."
On the back of the weekend's strong performance, Lucas has again been named on the bench for the Knights Canterbury Cup clash with the Bulldogs on Friday.
"While I'm stoked to get another game in the Canterbury Cup, my main focus is playing solid, consistent footy each week," he said.
"Whatever happens after that is a bonus."