One is a club legend and the other a rookie on the rise.
But while Danny Buderus and Bradman Best may be from different eras, they have formed a close bond over the past five years with the young Newcastle Knights centre paying homage to the Hall of Famer for his mentoring and support as he launches his own NRL career.
Best 18, revealed he and Buderus have been in regular contact since first crossing paths when he first joined the Knights junior system as a 13-year-old.
"Bedsy has been a huge influence," Best told the Newcastle Herald.
"He's been a mentor to me right from when I was 13 and first came to the Knights and he was involved with the club's junior high performance unit.
"Even when he left for a bit there, he's always stayed in touch, encouraging me and offering tips and when I played in the junior rep teams for NSW, he had a role in that.
"When I got picked for Australian Schoolboys [at the end of 2018], he rang me before we flew out [to England] and he was over there at the time we were playing and I went and had dinner with him. He's played a big role in me coming through and is always looking out for me."
It was Buderus who was the first on the phone to reassure Best that the turmoil the club was in late last season when the young centre made his NRL debut wasn't how it would always be.
"He kept ringing me at the time just to assure me that what was happening at the club wasn't what it was all about and things would get better," Best said.
"The way the season all finished, it was a bit weird for me being new on the scene and not knowing what to expect after Browny [coach Nathan Brown] gave me my debut.
"When all the drama was happening, he just kept my head clear of everything and said to focus on my own game and all the other stuff would sort itself out.
"I can't thank him enough."
Best still admits it is a bit surreal to have a figurehead like Buderus going out of his way to keep a close eye on him.
"It still shocks me, you know.," he said. "Here's Danny Buderus, a Hall of Famer and club legend and one of the best to ever play the game, ringing me and keeping an eye on me. I'm pretty privileged, that's for sure."
After debuting just days after turning 18 in 2019, Best has been the talk of the club's pre-season before picking up a heel injury in the past week that has seen him getting around in a moon boot as a precaution.
Prior to the setback, he had been a standout along with a few others including skipper Mitchell Pearce on the training paddock and was the clear frontrunner to lock down the left centre spot to start the season.
He said the competition for spots at training has been intense with everyone pushing each other.
"All the boys are pushing each other and when they do that, you naturally push yourself a bit harder," he said.
"There is plenty of competition there and we're all working together and giving each other encouragement and tips but we are also fighting for spots as well.
"We are all good mates, we're all brothers at the end of the day and what it means is we are making each other work harder and keeping ourselves accountable."
Best has his sights set on the starting left centre spot.
"That's the vision I've got - the plan," he said. "I'm happy to play wherever but left centre is where I want to be."
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