Will Pryce on leaving Huddersfield Giants for Newcastle Knights, his dad's advice and Andrew Johns chat
The Knights confirmed they had finalised a deal for the talented playmaker on Monday, ending months of speculation dating back to the early part of the year.
Pryce will see out his contract with Huddersfield in 2023 after turning down the opportunity to move over to Australia early, a decision based on a desire to hit the ground running when he begins his NRL career.
The youngster agonised over his next move but ultimately the lure of rugby league's premier competition proved too strong.
"There's nothing you can really do when you're competing with the NRL," Pryce told The Yorkshire Post. "It's the biggest league in the world for us and has been my dream ever since I was a kid.
"I sat down with Watto (Ian Watson) and had a really good chat about it. I couldn't have asked for him to be any better than he was.
"He spoke to me more on a personal level than professional and that says a lot about him as a coach and why so many players love to work with him and follow him around.
"Huddersfield have been great with everything during the process. It's not been easy for me. I've been here since I was 15 and have called Huddersfield home for a long, long time.
"If it wasn't for Huddersfield and Andy Kelly giving me an opportunity when I was released by Saints and didn't have a club at 15, I probably wouldn't be playing Super League and in the position I am now.
"I owe Huddersfield a lot for what they've done for me."
After bursting onto the scene in 2021, this year was more of a struggle for Pryce with suspensions restricting him to 15 outings.
He feels in a better place to attack the new season after resolving his future.
"It's been a long time coming but it's nice to finally get the announcement out and a bit of a weight lifted off my shoulders," added Pryce, whose 20th birthday coincided with Newcastle's press release.
"This year has been my toughest so far, off the field as well in terms of family issues.
"There was a lot of pressure having contract negotiations and talks with clubs. It can be a lot, especially when you're 19 and not very experienced at it.
"I feel miles better already in these past couple of weeks since it's been done. I can concentrate on my rugby now."
Although Pryce found himself in new territory during the process, he did not have to go far for advice.
Father Leon, who represented Great Britain 17 times and made several high-profile moves during his career, helped convince the England Knights starlet to take a leap of faith.
"Having somebody around you who knows what it's like to go through contract negotiations and these situations is very helpful," said Will Pryce.
"Going to the NRL is something you can't turn down. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He told me if I turned it down now and didn't get the opportunity again I'd be kicking myself.
"I had multiple options. I had an option to stay in Huddersfield and it's one that I was very closely considering but I couldn't turn the opportunity at Newcastle down.
"I had the opportunity to go over this year. Newcastle were pushing to get me over this year but I spoke with my agent, Iestyn (Harris), the guys at Newcastle and Huddersfield and told them it would be best for my development to do another year in Super League.
"I want to get more games under my belt and hopefully accomplish something with Huddersfield."
Former Castleford Tigers youngster Bailey Hodgson played a role in the move by tipping Pryce off about Newcastle's interest.
Knights recruitment manager Clint Zammit and legendary half-back Andrew Johns, who now works at the club in a consultancy role, took it from there.
"I spoke with Joey midway through this year," said Pryce. "We just chatted about the ambitions of the club and my ambitions.
"Getting to speak to someone who in my opinion is the GOAT (greatest of all time) was humbling.
"He's one player I've always loved watching on YouTube and one that my dad talks about quite a lot. He's not one to give raps to many people but with someone like that you can't really ignore it.
"It was really fun and a really good conversation."
Pryce will still be a rookie when he touches down in Australia this time next year. He expects to grow up quickly in a challenging environment.
"Maturing is a massive one for me," said Pryce.
"I've just turned 20 and have lived with my mum and dad my whole life but soon I'll be over on the other side of the world by myself learning how to make it on my own.
"Newcastle looks like a great place for someone like me. I'm quite a chilled and laid-back guy and the city itself is a massive rugby city.
"To speak to people from there already and find out how much it means to them is great for me because I feed off good energy and people who love rugby and want to succeed.
"I've been taught that the best by Huddersfield. It's the oldest club in rugby league and a great humbling experience to spend my youth days here and luckily make it to the first team.
"It’s hopefully going to be the same kind of family environment over there and one I'm buzzing to get involved in."