Lachlan Fitzgibbons grin says it all and why wouldnt he be smiling.
The rising Newcastle Knights backrower is currently eyeing off easily the biggest pay day of his career with the club working overtime to secure the South Newcastle junior to a long term contract before November 1 hits and rivals get a crack.
Fitzgibbon is signed until the end of 2019 but is believed to be on less than $250,000 next season which is well under his current market rate given his improvement over the past couple of seasons and overall potential.
Hell no doubt be asking for an upgraded deal as well as a hefty increase to sign for a longer term.
There has been no indication the backrower wants to leave Newcastle but that hasnt stopped the club placing plenty of importance on his re-signing.
Outside of the big marquee stars, Knights CEO Phil Gardner doesnt usually get directly involved in negotiations but he was spotted on Wednesday in deep conversation with Fitzgibbons manager Gavin Orr over a coffee.
Were guessing it wont take too long to sort something out.
The financial benefits of a new deal is not the only thing Fitzgibbon will be looking forward to.
Hell be rubbing his hands at the thought of playing on an edge and running off halves Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga in the next few years.
His try-scoring strike-rate is one of the best in the NRL for a forward and its unlikely that will change in 2019.
The 2019 season may not be a complete write-off as has been tipped for Knights hooker Slade Griffin after all.
Griffin underwent a second surgery to repair the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in Melbourne last week and has received some encouraging news from specialists.
Its understood he has been told if all goes well, he could be back on the field in July next year, around six weeks before the end of the season.
If the club manages to break its finals drought, Griffin may still have a role to play.
Simon Woolford may have departed mid-season to coach Huddersfield in the English Super League but the family name will live on at the Knights.
Woolfords son Zac, who like his father is a hooker, will be confirmed next week as a new signing.
The former Canberra Raiders junior was an instrumental figure in the Bulldogs NSW Cup premiership win last season and was considered unlucky not to make his NRL debut with the club.
He is not the Brisbane Broncos player most Knights fans have been praying the club signs but at this stage, he may have to do.
Young halfback Troy Dargan has been on the Knights radar for some time and were told there is every chance he will be handed an opportunity if a more experienced playmaker does not suddenly come onto the market.
Dargans potential signing would mean he and Warriors playmaker Mason Lino would effectively be the departed Brock Lamb and Jack Coggers replacements.
Suggestions on Friday the Knights may look at Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson if he was to come onto the market at the end of 2019 are well off the mark.
Hunt for props
The Knights bid to recruit a much-needed big man up front for next season have so far produced a duck-egg.
But while he may not have been near the top of the clubs original most wanted list, a name we keep hearing bob up is Warriors prop James Gavet.
Hes under contract next season but as we all know, that doesnt mean a lot these days.
In a wonderful ringing endorsement of the value of the Newcastle leagues Emerging Rebels program this year, we are hearing several members of the squad that performed so well under coach Adam Bettridge have caught the eye of NRL clubs and their feeder clubs.
Northern reviewing their reviews
Is there a sporting organisation anywhere else in Australia that loves a review more than Northern NSW Football?
It has almost got to the stage where Northern appears content to undertake a review of their own review if it means them not having to make decisions around competition structures and the best way to take the code forward rather than backwards.
As it stands, the three-year licences of the 11 teams who currently play in the top tier Newcastle Premier League competition expire at the end of next season.
But despite having three years to work it out, what the competition will look like in 2020 is anyones guess because after a review, Northern officials have decided to wait until the end of next season after another review before making a call on the structure and who will be invited in.
So everyone will be in the dark until then.
The latest review, conducted over the course of last season, was to gauge the interest of the 11 clubs currently in the second tier Northern League One competition to find out which ones were interested in a top tier licence.
Northern ideally want to run a two tier NPL competition with eight teams in each with promotion and relegation. Thats great in theory.
Problem is, there is a 10-point criteria to be met to play in the top tier and you dont need a genius to work out who of the lower teams are a chance of meeting it.
So rather than find out which clubs were interested in a licence, wouldnt it have been more prudent last season to work out who actually qualifies to potentially go up and make a decision from there?
This preliminary review was about giving clubs an insight into what it [the competition] was going to look like in 2020 ahead of 2019, but thats not going to be possible now, Northern CEO David Eland told Herald colleague Craig Kerry.
We are of the view now that we must go through the application process and review the clubs submissions.
So more reviews.
Applications will be called early next year before those submissions are reviewed and a decision made after next years grandfinal.
Expect an announcement after a review of the decision.