Prop Jarrod Wallace maintains he is mentally and physically at the peak of his powers following an off-season boxing camp as he targets a new deal at the Dolphins beyond 2024.
The 32-year-old's coach and mentor Wayne Bennett is also off-contract at the end of next season with his assistant Kristian Woolf set to take over as head coach in 2025.
Wallace joined the Dolphins from the Gold Coast to play under Bennett last year after being mentored by the veteran at Brisbane.
He will miss the mastercoach but Woolf was an assistant at the Broncos when he was a youngster, and Wallace will embrace him as Dolphins head honcho.
"It was one of the highlights of my career to be able to play under Wayne again," Wallace said.
"It was always my goal to get in a team with Wayne (as coach) again and I knew he'd get the best out of me. I can't wait for our second year because I know we will go bigger and better.
"Woolfy goes in next year and I had the opportunity to be coached by him in 2012 and 2013 (at Brisbane).
"To stay and play another couple of years under Woolfy is my goal.
"He tells me where I am and how it is. That is why I love Wayne. Woolfy has every quality as a coach that I like playing under."
Wallace fought Melbourne giant Nelson Asofa-Solomona in October, and lost, after a four-week boxing camp under trainer Fidel Tuckel that rejuvenated him.
"I am mentally better as a result The fight camp took me to some dark places," Wallace said.
"It taught me a lot about breathing and being under fatigue. When you are running (in a game) you know when you can rest and when you can't.
"In the ring you can't hide anywhere. It is one-on-one and if you take a spell you cop an uppercut or a punch in the head.
"I wanted to push my body to a different level so I could come back to the Dolphins and be even better."
The Dolphins received a boost on Tuesday when star prop signing Thomas Flegler joined the side for a field session ahead of schedule after linking from the Broncos.
Firebrand Flegler has already struck up a rapport with equally aggressive lock Tom Gilbert.
"(Flegler) isn't meant to be back until January 8 but it's a new team and new boys for him and he wants to build combinations and do contact," Wallace said.
"I heard him and Tommy Gilbert giving a bit of cheek. It has started already so I can't wait to sit back with some popcorn and watch those two go at it all off-season."
Australian Associated Press