Not every young footy in country NSW dreams of growing up and playing for the Brisbane Broncos.
Kotoni Staggs is one who did though, and the chance to keep living out that dream played a major role in extending his deal with the Broncos for a further four years.
It was confirmed on Wednesday evening Staggs had re-signed with the club through to the end of 2025 and the Wellington Cowboys junior said he always wanted to stay.
"My future is here at the Broncos. I've always been told to chase my dream and my dream as a young kid was to be here at the Broncos, and I'm going to be here for another four years. I'm really happy," he said in a statement on the club's website.
"Reflecting back to when I was growing up as a young kid and kicking the footy around the park imagining I was in Broncos colours, to be able to make my debut and play here for three years and then to get another four years on top of that with a bunch of boys that I've known for a while now, I'm pretty proud of that."
Staggs was an outstanding junior at Wellington and his talent was noticed at an early age.
He signed his first deal with the Broncos in 2014 when he was just 15 before making the move north after helping the Cowboys win the Group 11 under 18s premiership in 2016.
He made his NRL debut in 2018 and the now 22-year-old has gone on to be the Broncos' leading try-scorer the past two seasons.
Staggs had been linked with NRL rivals this year but his new deal is a welcome boost for a club which has had little to celebrate the past couple of years.
After claiming the wooden spoon for the first time in their history last season, the Broncos sit above only the battling Canterbury Bulldogs after eight rounds of the 2021 season.
But Staggs, who is closing in on a return to play after an ACL injury suffered in September of last year, feels the future is bright after Payne Haas, Pat Carrigan, Tom Flegler, Ethan Bullemor, Jordan Riki and Brendan Piakura also extended their deals at the club.
"We've got a lot to look forward to as a club," Staggs said.
"I want to continue to grow and help the younger players out and be a leader and a mentor."
Staggs also touched on the off-field issues which has had to deal with in recent times.
There has been a number of incidents in the past two years, the most recent of those being alleged drunken behaviour in Brisbane recently which is still be investigated by the NRL.
"I've made mistakes off the field but I'm learning my lessons and from here onwards I want to be the best person I can be and be a role model, it's up to me to get my head in the right place and move forward," Staggs said.
"I'm here to send a message out to the fans that I'm here to stay at the Brisbane Broncos, this is the Club that I always dreamed of playing for and it's my home."
Broncos coach Kevin Walters welcomed the news of Staggs' new deal.
"He's the type of player that we need here at the club," said Walters.
"He grew up watching the Broncos win premierships and he wants to win one here himself."
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