If I were a new car, a reasonable person might by now be exploring the extended warranty, the fine detail.

Because while I was born with the physicality to play sport well, my on-field results have been largely disappointing.

Of course many will put this down to the poor luck of injury. The nuts and bolts of many players’ lives.

But as part of the real recovery, the real work I’ve done these past 13 months, I’ve had to put my hand up and own that I never really deserved the privilege to play for Melbourne Storm.

Any more than I deserved to come from a good family. There is a grocery list of people and experiences I took for granted. And one by one I need to appreciate them more if my life is to amount to anything of value.

I’m coming back from injury this time with my youthful arrogance smashed to pieces but I’m a better person for it.

And I have no doubt the form and physicality to play well will follow.

And I can say now, to the entire Melbourne Storm family, with complete sincerity:

“I think I’m ready to play for you. I think I’m ready to earn your respect.”