Mason Lino was three weeks into pre-season training at the Knights last November when he heard the shock news about Shaun Johnson and the Warriors parting company.
His first thought was "it's an opportunity missed". The playmaker had been at the Warriors from the day he'd left high school waiting for exactly that - an opportunity to really nail down an NRL position. But now it was too late.
He says his thought lasted all of a few seconds. "Then I just said to myself that if I didn't come here, I would never have learnt what I'd already learnt about being a halfback from Browny [coach Nathan Brown] and Junior [Mitchell Pearce]," Lino said.
"I think the move has been a big win for me. I am very happy where I am right now and I'm learning a lot which is great. I'm experiencing living away from home which is pretty massive for me because I've never lived away from my parents.
"I'm just really enjoying it here. There is the challenge of trying to cement a spot here and I just need to step up and do my job and make sure I perform well."
Lino also reckons he'll be a better player in the long run for having to fight for his spot here rather than if he'd got it by default at the Warriors after Johnson's departure.
"Browny sold Newcastle to me by saying if I performed well and put my best foot forward, I could cement a spot. I probably hadn't heard that from anyone during my career so far," he says
"At the Warriors, it was always wait for your turn and if you get a shot, you'll get a shot but after that, you'll just go back down until you get another call-up.
"I knew if I came, I'd be learning under Junior and making myself a better player. That's what I wanted to do more than anything."
Lino must have wondered about the wisdom of it all with Pearce and Kalyn Ponga in the halves to start the season. To make matters worse, he picked up a knee injury in the trials and was on the sideline for the season opener.
But fortunes turn quickly in rugby league. After Connor Watson picked up an injury against Penrith and the Ponga experiment ended with the youngster pushed back to fullback after the Canberra loss, the door suddenly opened for the 25-year-old Samoan to partner Pearce in the halves against the Dragons.
Lino may not have set the world on fire in his Knights debut but there were enough good signs for him to be given further opportunities. He knows the ball is in his court now as the team prepares for Saturday's important clash against Manly.
On Tuesday afternoon, he met with Brown and assistant coach James Sheppard and went over video footage in preparations for the Eagles.
"It was just on things we could change up a bit, especially with our attack. There was some good stuff there I can take on board and add to a bit," he said. "I didn't think I contributed too much in attack against the Dragons. Again, it's just me trying to find my role within the team.
"Maybe we can put something together where I can be a bit more involved and get our right edge a lot more involved in our attack. It's about getting our shape organised so we can get a lot more ball to Jesse [Ramien] but I have to be a lot more dominant with Danny [Levi] and Junior [Mitchell Pearce].
"It's a learning thing for all of us and one where I have to keep going with it to get better at it."
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Lino recognises he'll need to stand up if the Knights attack, which is yet to really click, is to reach its potential. Part of that will be over-calling Pearce and Ponga at times to make sure the Knights' right edge attack, that features Jesse Ramien, sees enough football.
"Obviously, if we become a lopsided team with everything going left, it's a lot easier to defend against us," he said. "It's about getting our right side the ball at the right time and putting them in the right situations and that's on me.
"It's a matter of us working at it constantly. It's about building those combinations with my backrowers, my centres and my hookers as well. Once you get the combinations going, there'll be a level of trust there."
Lino says he has no fears when it comes to being more or a dominant force on the field.
"I'm not a massive talker socially but in a game, I do talk a fair bit," he said. "And being more dominant won't be too hard because Junior's always urging me to be - he wants me to step up there and encourages me."