Former Dubbo CYMS star Bayden Searle, who featured throughout the CYMS' nearly-unbeaten 2018 season, is relishing the opportunity to get some field-time under his belt while training with the Newcastle Knights.
Searle, who served as halfback during the CYMS one point loss to the Forbes Magpies in last year's Group 11 Grand Final, made his Canterbury Cup debut recently and was selected as one of the club's best in the lower grades for his performance.
"It was good, it was good to get one under the belt, it was a bit more physical but that's just footy I suppose, I loved it," Searle said.
Regardless of the physicality, Searle brushed off comments by some that he was undersized for the role.
"I make up for it in my aggression," Searle said.
"I love the tough stuff, I come from country footy, that's the stuff I love and I don't mind being a couple of kilos lighter, I think some people think they can sort of get it over me because of that and I prove them wrong."
The halfback also featured in a number of Western Rams representative games before getting the call-up to train with the Knights.
"I'm loving Newcastle, it's a great place to live and there's heaps to do, training's going great and I've met a heap of good people down here," Searle said.
"The Knights are awesome, they're giving me everything I need and giving me a great opportunity, so hopefully I can repay them."
Searle was optimistic that 'repaying' them would mean staying with the Knights well into the future, and hopefully lending his talents to their NRL side.
"They've taken me out of my hometown and given me a big shot, so hopefully I can go all the way with them and give back to them the way they've given to me," Searle said.
Searle's still keeping in touch with the home crowd and says the support so far has been incredible.
"I've heard from all my mates and all the old boys I used to play footy with and I've got them supporting me, Dubbo's a great place."