TIM Natusch describes Shane Webcke as his childhood hero.
Now he is moving to Brisbane in the hope of inheriting the jersey that Webcke once wore.
The burly front-rower, who has spent five years with the Newcastle Knights and made his NRL debut this season, confirmed yesterday that he had signed a 12-month contract with the Broncos.
Natusch was unable to secure a contract extension with the Knights, who recently added Kiwi Test prop Evarn Tuimavave and re-signed rookie Sione Tovo to a front-row roster that already has Ben Cross, Dan Tolar, Danny Wicks, Mark Taufua, Richie Fa'aoso and Chris Houston.
Natusch was optimistic he would receive more opportunities at his new club but admitted 2010 would be a defining season in his career.
"It's just a year-long deal but hopefully I can go up there and show my wares and play a few more first-grade games," he said.
"Next year will be a big year for me, I think.
"You don't want to look at things negatively but it is sort of a make-or-break year.
"I think I can do it. I'm confident I can become a regular first-grader but we'll just have to see how I go."
Natusch made his top-grade debut in round three against Souths and played two other NRL games, against the Bulldogs and Eels, and did not look out of his depth.
"I reckon I've just got to get a bit more game time and get used to it," he said.
"You can't really go in and kill it straight up.
"You just go in and try to contribute and try to build on it each week and hopefully I'll get to do that next year."
The 23-year-old from Wellington, New Zealand, admitted he would face stiff competition to force his way into a Brisbane engine room that includes established props Joel Clinton and Nick Kenny but he was eyeing the vacancy Dave Taylor had left by joining South Sydney.
"It's tough anywhere you go," he said.
"But Dave Taylor is leaving, so hopefully that leaves an opportunity.
"I've just got to go up there and rip into training, which I always do, and give it my best shot."
Knights coach Rick Stone wished Natusch well and felt he was capable of realising his potential at the Broncos.
"I had a good chat to Timmy about it," Stone said yesterday.
"I thought it would be a good career move for him and I think he'll do well.
"At Brisbane there could be a couple of chances open up with injuries and State of Origin and other things.
"Timmy's just got to keep working on his game. He's come a fair way since he came to Newcastle but he's still got a little way to go before he's a genuine, bona fide NRL player, and he knows that.
"But he's keen to work hard on those areas that he has to."
Stone said the re-signing of Shannon McDonnell to a two-year deal would complete Newcastle's roster for next season.
He was confident veteran Adam MacDougall would be on deck next year.
"I know the club has been working through some minor issues with his manager and they're probably taking a bit longer than people would like, particularly Doogs and his manager, but I'm quietly confident that will fall into place," Stone said.