Elliot Minchella insists the draw of Super League rugby, having had a taste of it as a teenager, is what will ensure he doesn’t rest on his laurels after returning to the top-flight with Hull Kingston Rovers.
The highly-rated 23-year-old, who has joined the Robins from Bradford, was contracted to Leeds Rhinos as a youngster before being released.
He subsequently dropped all the way down to League 1 with the Bulls, but is now a Super League player again, and he told League Express: “Having a little taste of Super League when I was younger, and having it taken away from me, it’s like an addiction.
“You want more of it, that’s what motivates me. I had it taken away from me for whatever reason and I want it back.
“Me signing here isn’t me done; it’s not the end of the journey. I won’t take it easy now.”
Minchella continued: “This is just the start of a huge opportunity for me. I’m definitely not falling in love with myself because I’ve signed at such a big club. If anything, it makes you want to work even harder because the standard in Super League is so high.
“I’m very proud of the way I’ve done it, dropping all the way down to League 1.”
Minchella admitted there were occasions he wondered if he would get his break in Super League again, saying: “It’s hard not to think that.
“There have been times for sure. Seeing Championship lads signing for Super League clubs, guys you’ve played against.. and you just think, ‘is my time going to come?’
“I wanted to be in their shoes, but now I am, and it’s up to me to show I belong here.”
Minchella knocked back suggestions he had anything to prove to people – including the Rhinos, who released him as a youngster.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
“The only person I’ve got something to prove to is myself. I know Leeds probably made the right decision looking back, so it’s up to me now to show that I’ve worked hard to get back to where I am now, and I’m good enough.”
On his hopes for 2020, Minchella said: “Just to get as many games as I can. I know, and I’m realistic, that I won’t walk into the team because it’s full of good players. I just want to play as many as I can, and look at the year coming up as a formative one. Any opportunity I get, I’ll grab it with both hands.”