After more than two years in the NRL wilderness, Cameron King is looking to make the most of his comeback.
Injuries had crueled the hooker, limiting him to just 21 games since his NRL debut seven years ago, but 2017 has been a turning point for the Wagga product.
He burst back into the NRL spotlight in June and hasn’t looked backed.
King returned after his last injury break, which spanned 733 days from his last NRL appearance, against Canterbury in round 17 and has only missed one game since.
It included the Eels finals run, which was cut short by eventual finalists North Queensland.
Knee, shoulder and pectoral issues could have cost the hooker his promising career, but despite that the 26-year-old never gave up on his NRL dream.
“I always believed that I could (make it back), but just needed a chance somewhere,” King said. “Brad (Arthur, Eels coach) was willing to give me that chance.
“I was always confident that if I played few back-to-back games I could get better each week.”
However it wasn’t always easy and he admitted there were stages where he thought about giving it all away.
“There were times over the years where I thought about that, but sometimes you have to remind yourself why you started doing it and there are people worse off than me with injuries,” King said.
“I always knew that if I could get my body right and get my mind right as well that I could still compete at this level.
“It’s been a tough few years to get back to this level, but now that I’m back I feel confident I can compete at this level again.”
After signing a new one-year deal with the Eels, King is looking forward to build on the progress he’s made.
“It was good to play some consistent first grade again, which I haven’t done for a few years,” he said.
“We had a good year, we obviously fell a little bit short which was disappointing, but for myself it was just good to get back at that level.”
King’s father lives in Wagga and the 26-year-old will be back home in the coming weeks before Parramatta starts 2018 preparations.
“I’m really enjoying it at Parramatta so hopefully we can have a big pre-season and go a few games better next year,” he said.