When it came to picking a club to play with on his return from Super League in the UK, former Newcastle Knight Tyler Randell admits choosing Maitland was a "no brainer".
"When I was looking at coming back I wanted to play somewhere where there was also more than rugby league to it," Randell, who played hooker at Super League club Wakefield for the past two-and-a-half years, said.
"For the first time I had to make a decision based on something other than rugby league. I've got three kids and it was just the right time to bring them home.
"I had a little daughter born over in the UK and she hadn't met any of the family apart from my wife's parents.
"I'm good friends with Sam Anderson, because he is here and I spoke to him about coming home and he said I'll put you in contact with Maitland.
"Sam's partner is really good friends with my wife and we've both got kids so it's going to be better for my wife and kids knowing they've got close friends here as well.
"I spoke to Adam Clydesdale, who is another good mate, to see what he thought of the place and it was a bit of a no-brainer in the end.
"When I spoke to (Maitland Pickers president) Frank (Lawler) I was probably never going to go anywhere else."
Randell, who is originally from Scone, had his first tour of the Maitland Sportsground last week where he met new coach Matt Lantry for the first time as well.
The first topic of conversation was goal kicking and Randell, who played his junior football as a half with Anderson and Clydesdale at the Knights, looks likely to assume the role.
"At Wakefield I played the majority of time at hooker, bit of lock. I only played in the halves when there were injuries," Randell said.
"Coming through the Knights I played in the halves, but it came to a stage where if I wanted to play NRL I had to play hooker as we had really good halves.
"The reality of it was that I wasn't going to play NRL or Super League in the halves full time.
"Obviously I'll talk to Matty about my role, but I just loving playing rugby league whether it's in the middle or the halves it doesn't matter. I've played almost every position there is so I'm not too bothered.
"Whatever is best for the teams suits me."
Randell said he hoped to be a long-term player at Maitland.
"I think Maitland is a club on the rise, I watched a few of their games and I thought they were unlucky not to do better than they did this year," he said. "I'm not planning on being here for a year or two I want to stick around for the long term.
"I'm really looking forward to settling in and setting up where myself and family will not go anywhere else again.
"We're not moving again, our moving days are done. The missus and kids can settle down and have the security of knowing this is where we are going to be.
Pickers president Frank Lawler said he believed with Lantry at the helm and with experienced and quality players like Anderson and Randell in their mid-20s there were exciting times ahead at the club.
"They are great for the club to build around. We've got young Jayden Butterfield and Greg Morris coming through. Jeremy Gibson, Jarrod Smith, Cooper Jenkins, Cal Burgess how much are they going to benefit from playing with these guys."
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