It's been a whirlwind last few months for Max King and the Melbourne Storm youngster admits he gets a bit emotional when he ponders his recent journey and what may potentially lie ahead during the finals.
King started the season on the Gold Coast, where he made nine appearances for the Titans through the first 10 rounds of the season until Storm made some inquiries about his services.
The 22-year-old was snapped up by Storm just prior to the June 30 signing deadline and hasn't wasted any time in making an impression with the 2019 minor premiers over the last three weeks.
King debuted against his former side in round 23 at AAMI Park and showed his prowess when crossing for his first try at his new club during the Storm's 24-16 triumph over the Cowboys on Friday night.
And now that he's had a taste of it and set to embark on a first NRL finals series, King says he isn't ready to give up his spot in the Storm's best side.
"Every game I play I go back and think on everything that has happened and I get emotional," King said.
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"It is crazy how it has happened so quickly and I appreciate every opportunity I have been given.
"My goal is to keep being in the 17 and keep playing the footy they want from me…if I can get a run [during finals] that would be awesome."
With interchange forward Christian Welch rehabilitating a long-term knee injury, King appears likely to win one of the four vacant bench spots for the Storm when they take on the Raiders in the first week of the finals.
The Raiders are one of just four teams to have beaten Storm this season when they stunned the competition leaders 22-18 in Melbourne last month, but King believes that result will count for little next weekend.
"Anyone in that top four you know it's going to be a tough game," he said.
"I don't want to go in with a mindset saying I would like to dodge that team. Whoever we play, we play, and I want to do the best job I can for the team."
King's primary role during the finals will be to ensure the Storm maintain their go-forward when starting props Jesse Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona are being rested.
That will often mean King is the first player off the bench once Asofa-Solomona has done much of the initial grunt work but the Maitland-product knows it's important he makes his own mark on the game.
"I am not Nelson and Nelson is not me. We are very different players," King said.
"He is one of, if not the best, front rower in the world at the moment and I am just trying to do my job and want the coaches want from me."