HE'S at a pivotal point in his career but St George Illawarra recruit Moses Mbye feels a weight has been lifted as he embraces a new role at the Dragons.
The shift to Wollongong comes without the burden of expectation that's been a constant companion for the better part of his career through highly lucrative deals with both the Bulldogs and Tigers.
His frank admission last season that the pricetag pressure had become a distraction at a Tigers club looking to usher in a new era was a refreshing change to the animosity that typically accompanies similar departures.
It subsequently allowed him to link with the Dragons in a move that's left him feeling rejuvented heading into his ninth NRL campaign.
"It is quite refreshing, it's probably the first time in my career where the decision hasn't really been made on finances or things like that," Mbye said.
"I think the ability to be versatile and cover those positions was something that appealed to Hook (Anthony Griffin) and getting the opportunity to do that was appealing to me.
"I don't even know what the [outside] expectations [on me] are. My own expectation of myself is to give a hundred per cent effort whatever card I'm dealt.
"I thought I was playing some of my better footy towards the end of last year so that's a good conduit into this season.
"I've been a bit stale these last couple of years and a bit inconsistent but I really do feel like my best footy's ahead of me. It's all up to me really."
The cut-price deal could prove a more than shrewd pick-up given the 28-year-old's ability to fill all spine positions, while he has also played Origin for Queensland in the centres.
It makes him a neat fit at the Dragons given the likes of Andrew McCullough and Ben Hunt are on the other side of 30 and wrestled with various injuries last season.
At the other end of the spectrum, exciting youngsters Talatau Amone, Tyrell Sloan and Jayden Sullivan are tipped to face far more pressure than their collective 22 NRL games would suggest.
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It's where Mbye feels he can show his value.
"The thing that's surprised me most about those kids is their maturity, they're training well beyond their years and experience," Mbye said.
"The next stage is to be able tansfer that quality onto the field and then the big challenge will be to do it consistently. A lot of guys can play six games a year or 10 games a year and be outstanding.
"It's when you've to do it back to back to back and get results with pressure it gets tougher. Going through the year everyone dips in form, you get injuries, there's a lot of moving parts to an NRL season.
"I'll be there to support those guys when they need a rest or things aren't going their way. I think that'll naturally become my role now, especially with the calibre of juniors we've got in those positions."
It's the type of experience Griffin has banked on in dramatically turning over the club's roster, with other recruits Aaron Woods and George Burgess joining the likes Josh McGuire and Andrew McCullough in looking to reboot careers in Wollongong.
"We've all been handed an opporunity," Mbye said.
"We were all a bit stagnant in our previous systems. The young group here's been full of energy that's infectious.
"Guys like Woodsy and big Georgie have had a second lease on their careers being around those young guys as well, but it is only summer time.
"We'll be judged on what we do post-Christmas and then post-March."