"I feel like I can be Jamal now."
It's hard to believe that Jamal Fogarty's 2020 season happened without being part of the Titans pre-season.
Joining the group after the COVID break, Fogarty says 2020 was about "learning on the run".
The 27-year-old halfback says he is relishing the chance of a full pre-season and says its helping him as a leader.
"Now I get to build relationships with the coaches, the new players and with the players that were here...whereas last year I didn't really have the connection or relationship with people because I missed the pre-season," Fogarty said.
"I definitely feel I can be myself and have a voice, and have something to say when needed."
Taking a stint as captain in 2020, Fogarty showed why he is considered a leader amongst the group.
For him, it's about playing his role and bringing the talk needed to help the team.
"Obviously being in the halves, if you don't talk why are you playing in the halves?" he said.
"When everyone is tired they need someone to talk to tell them where they need to run or what is happening.
"I know if nobody is talking then my headspace is probably the worst in the team, so I try and bluff myself and just talk and bring heaps of energy to the team.
"I know if I start talking, that might give someone else in the team a little bit of energy and then that person might feel a bit better about themselves and then they might start talking.
"It's just about power in numbers, if there is three of us talking then we might be able to drag a fourth and then all of a sudden we've got six.
"When anyone is talking in the team we all stop and we listen."
Fogarty says the positivity that built through 2020 has flowed into pre-season training.
"Everyone is switched on, feeling energetic and there is a good vibe around the place," he said.
With four new players (Herman Ese'ese, David Fifita, Patrick Herbert and Sam McIntyre) already having joined the squad, and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui arriving in the new year, Fogarty says there has been another injection of energy.
"The new guys coming in, especially Sam Mcintyre, he is an awesome talker and out on the field he brings plenty of energy and its very positive."