Jayden Sullivan insists he's happy to bide his time learning from Ben Hunt, declaring he's no sook and that greater clarity around his development prompted him to stay at St George Illawarra.
Speaking for the first time since withdrawing a request for a release, Sullivan revealed his main concern was his progression as a playmaker while playing hooker off the bench.
He also admitted communication between he and coach Anthony Griffin broke down last season, adding to concerns about his long-term status as a half.
But the 21-year-old claims he is now more assured around his playmaking future after meetings with Griffin and club officials, where the Dragons made clear their determination for him to stay.
It comes as the club prepares for an eventual transition period from Hunt to Sullivan at No.7, with the rising star part of a pack of young Dragons talent.
"I said to everyone, I am learning off Ben Hunt, I am not trying to take his position," Sullivan told AAP.
"Obviously eventually I do (want it), but I am not going to deny that Ben Hunt probably should have won Dally M.
"I love Ben and his family. I am not going to say it's my turn. I am not a sook.
"I just want to learn as much as I can and I just felt like I wasn't learning anything coming off the bench for two minutes."
Sullivan's decision to stay at the Dragons came as fullback Tyrell Sloan made a similar call, with the young half revealing the close friends made a pact to stay on.
"When all that stuff was happening we sat down and really had a deep-hard think - do we really want to do this?" Sullivan said.
"We just said to each other, who is to say we can't be the best? Realistically we both came from nothing and have made a name for ourselves.
"He was in the same situation as me, from both ends.
"Our communication was poor, between us and the coaches. We didn't really know how to have that tough conversation."
Sullivan said he heard from the club almost daily after requesting to leave, claiming he grew confused last season over his long-term development.
"The club knows and everyone knows I want to be a halfback," he said.
"And playing out of position pretty much the whole year was a bit confusing.
"But I had a good chat to Hook (Griffin) and (head of football) Benny Haran and all the coaching staff.
"We put myself in a direction and I am eager to have a good pre-season and really rip in and show the Dragons what I am capable of doing."
Important in that was the heart-to-heart with Griffin, who Sullivan wanted more clarity from.
"In my season review when I spoke to Hook, our communication was a bit off, and that is from both ends," Sullivan said.
"Personally I like to be told things straight out, and there were a few things that were a bit clashing.
"Our communication fell out the door.
"I wasn't kicking stones but I was a bit confused on what I meant to the team. One week I was in and one week I was out.
"But the club has definitely gave me a direction of where my career should go."