Kevin Walters has given Ezra Mam the freedom to continue his dramatic upward curve as the teenager joins a crowded list to partner Adam Reynolds at Brisbane this year.
The 19-year-old playmaker only ran out in 11 games for Souths Logan in the Queensland Cup last year.
But he scored 13 tries, including a hat-trick on debut, and added eight try assists thanks to a lethal running game and penchant for a cut-out pass.
It was good enough to secure the competition's rookie of the year honours, while he was also named the Magpies' best and fairest and apparently caught Walters' eye.
A Brisbane contract extension followed, as did elevation to the NRL side's 30-man squad, where Mam admits to some star-struck moments at training this year.
Wary of how he'll handle the physicality of the NRL, the teenager has been ordered to stack on more weight and work on his kicking game.
But that's where Walters has left it.
"I like how he's let me be free and play like that, but I've got to realise I have to play for the team," Mam said of his coach's direction.
"I have little moments that flash in and out, when I walk off the field and see stars walking next to me ... it (an NRL debut) really is that close.
"So it's good to be here and I'm just happy and enjoying my time."
Star Broncos signing Reynolds is set to pilot the side in the No.7 this season after his high-profile move from South Sydney, leaving Tyson Gamble, Albert Kelly, Billy Walters and Mam jostling to partner him in the No.6.
"There's quite a few halves but the competition's been pretty good for us," Mam said.
"He's (Reynolds) done everything as a player and I'm happy to be learning from him ... and chewing his ear."
Australian Associated Press