He is acknowledged as one of the trail-blazers who took a punt on joining the Newcastle Knights when few others would a few seasons back when the club was at its lowest ebb.
But great leadership and loyalty doesn’t guarantee you a seat at the table.
And Jamie Buhrer knows better than anyone he will be fighting for his NRL career this season despite featuring 36 times in the top grade over the past two years.
The team’s co-captain since linking with the club in 2017, Buhrer is almost certain to start the season in NSW Cup barring injury with the recruitment of some highly credentialed players set to squeeze him out of the top 17 for round one.
With the club bursting at the seams with backrowers, he has been training at hooker but is behind both Danny Levi and Kurt Mann in the pecking order while Zac Woolford is also vying for an opportunity at dummy half.
“I’ve got my work cut out for me,” Buhrer admitted.
“I’ve been training mostly at nine and obviously Danny is doing a great job so far this pre-season and Kurt is going to be thereabouts.
“All I can do is put my best foot forward every day at training and continue to work and improve and hopefully, put in good performances in the trials so that come round one, my hat is well and truly in the ring.”
Buhrer, who played 128 NRL games over seven seasons with Manly before joining the Knights, described this pre-season as “challenging” physically but is confident about the team’s prospects.
“We’ve certainly got ourselves a pretty strong squad,” he said.
“It’s a fantastic bunch of blokes first and foremost but there are a lot of good football players among the bunch and I think we have made some big strides both from a physical standpoint and a football standpoint.
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“So far, it’s looked pretty good. We’ve still got a bit of work to do. There is a lot of new players and obviously, we are trying to get a lot more cohesion and I can honestly say so far, there has been a lot of great strides made.
“The best teams have intense competition for spots so we certainly have that this year in multiple positions and it’s only going to bring the best out of one another.
“There are some great combinations being developed but until the trials play out, we won’t know if we have a few cohesion issues. But at the moment, things are tracking well.”