THE same self-belief that convinced Hymel Hunt to gamble 12 months ago on accepting a one-season deal with Newcastle is now driving him to set his sights on even loftier goals.
As Hunt prepares for his second campaign with the Knights, two aspirations feature prominently on his bucket list.
From a team perspective, he wants to help Newcastle reach the finals for the first time since 2013, preferably in the top four.
From an individual point of view, he recognises there will be a vacancy in the Queensland Origin threequarter line after the departure of veteran Will Chambers to Japanese rugby union.
"Everyone who knows me knows I'm a Queenslander, through and through," Hunt told the Herald. "I grew up in Brisbane from the age of two.
"I played Queensland under-20s. I'm actually wearing Queensland budgies today.
"I would be a dream come true, but first things first. It's all about doing well for my club and then keeping my fingers crossed."
This time last year, the odds would have appeared stacked firmly against the former Gold Coast, Melbourne and South Sydney utility back appearing on the Maroons' radar.
But in 2019 he was the only Knight to appear in every game, scoring nine tries in the process and winning a new two-year contract for his efforts.
Given the departure of Chambers, and the fact Queensland used part-timers Michael Morgan and Moses Mbye in the centres last season, a strong start to 2020 could propel Hunt into contention.
That, of course, will depend largely on Newcastle's early-season performances under new coach Adam O'Brien.
After losing nine of their last 12 games, slipping from fifth on the ladder to a disappointing 11th, the Knights should have no lack of motivation when pre-season training officially kicks off on Wednesday.
"There was that period during the season when we won six games in a row, but then we lost six games in a row," Hunt said.
"So we need to work on our consistency this pre-season. We need to improve.
"At the back end of the year, we let ourselves down as a team, and we let the town down, and we don't ever want to do that again."
Hunt was excited about renewing his association with O'Brien, with whom he worked for two seasons at Melbourne.
"He's been involved in four grand finals in the last four years," Hunt said.
"So he'll bring a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience and a lot of energy. Obviously he's going to bring a lot to the table. He's been involved with two great clubs."
And while the former Junior Kangaroo established himself as Newcastle's left-side centre last season, he was happy to trade edges if that allows teenager Bradman Best to settle in the backline.
"I played two years at Souths on the right edge," Hunt said. "As I said to Adam, wherever the team needs me, I'll play."