Matt Burton described 2019 as "a rollercoaster" and the new year is set to be another huge one for the Dubbo teen after agreeing an upgraded deal with the Penrith Panthers.
Burton, who shone in his one NRL game for the club last season, is now part of the club's top 30 squad.
The playmaker was previously on an NRL development contract but the new deal means he is available for NRL selection from the beginning of the new season.
The 19-year-old former St John's, CYMS, and Western Rams star has committed to Panthers until the end of 2021.
"To join the club's top 30 list is an exciting moment for me and I'm really grateful for the opportunity," Burton told the club's official website.
"The last 12 months has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I can't wait to see what's coming next.
"My focus is now on doing the work needed to earn a spot in the NRL team and I'm really optimistic about what we can achieve as a club this season."
A place in the Panthers' starting lineup is in within reach as well, with Burton currently battling Jarome Luai for the number six jersey left vacant following James Maloney's departure.
Incumbent halfback Nathan Clearly revealed in an interview with NRL.com Luai is the front-runner at the moment, having played 18 NRL games for the club already.
"The race is still open," Cleary said.
"Jarome, rightfully, has the upper-hand and he's been training really well but 'Burto' is not far behind and everyone saw in that one game he played, he played really well."
That one game in the top flight was the highlight of Burton's incredible 2019.
He started the year in the Panthers Jersey Flegg squad while also working part-time as a teacher's aide.
He achieved his senior debut in the Canterbury Cup before scoring two tries in a man-of-the-match performance for NSW in the under 20s State of Origin clash.
In round 21 he announced his arrival in the NRL, starring in memorable debut against the Cronulla Sharks.
Burton laid on the first try for his side that night as the Panthers went on to score an upset 26-20 win over the Sharks.
"Matt has quickly progressed through our junior development system and played well at every level to this point," Panthers head coach Ivan Cleary said.
"His performance on NRL debut showed he possesses both the skill and the temperament required to handle the challenge of first grade.
"If Matt continues to work hard, we are confident he will enjoy a successful career in the NRL."