Despite a brilliant 2016 that saw him named the Dally M Fullback of the Year, Wests Tigers No.1 James Tedesco says he's determined to go even better in 2017.
Starring in his side's opening round win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs, local junior Tedesco will return to Campbelltown Stadium this Sunday full of confidence as he takes on the Panthers, but says he knows there's lots more to be done both in his game, and with the team, in the coming weeks.
"We'll definitely take plenty of confidence out of last week," Tedesco said.
"But we want to build on that — we're not letting that be all we can do.
"The Panthers will obviously be coming out strong this week given what happened to them last week, so we've got to be ready and on our game again this weekend.
"For me, I just think it comes down to me getting my body right," he said.
"I came into Round 1 with no strapping and my body feeling great, and I think that's the main thing. The training staff kept me fresh and hopefully I can keep that throughout the year.
"If I can keep myself fresh, I think I can challenge with those elite players.
"Darius Boyd is obviously the top fullback in the game at the moment, but that's a spot I want to be, and if I can keep building off what I did last weekned, hopefully I can get to that honour."
In addition to his own form, the 24-year-old said the year was building as a strong one for halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks, and his combination with the star duo.
"I think everyone forgets how young they are, they're only 22," Tedesco enthused.
"They've had a few years in first-grade now and are really starting to show that leadership and maturity on the field. They're leading the boys around the park and just that experience really helps us as a team — they've always been such special talents."
"I think this year is going to be their best year together, and I think that'll help me.
"I'm really looking forward to it."
See what Tedesco had to say in full about this week's game in the video above!