Penrith captain James Tamou spent the off-season burning about not only missing the NRL finals, but what he could have done about it.
Whatever happened in the 12 months since has helped deliver Penrith to a minor premiership and a qualifying final showdown with two-time premiers Sydney Roosters on Friday night.
It's a world away from where the Panthers finished the 2019 season - in 10th spot, ruing a missed opportunity, after sitting dead last midway through the year.
Punctuating the miserable results was speculation Tamou was being shopped around to rival NRL clubs along with several other players on big money who left the club.
After seeking reassurance from bosses that he was indeed wanted at the club, the skipper took a look in the mirror and decided he could do better.
And then he did.
"I wanted to show that I wasn't passed it and still had my best footy ahead of me," he said ahead of Friday night's blockbuster at Panthers Stadium.
"That was definitely on my mind heading into this year."
The former Australia and Origin prop is playing as well as he was in 2012 when he was considered one of the best in the game.
Over the past two seasons Tamou has been durable and fit for every NRL game, but he wanted more from himself.
He didn't speak about his form with coach Ivan Cleary, who has seen nothing but consistency from Tamou in the past two seasons.
But privately, he made a pact to be better.
"It was more a silent contract with myself that I wanted to be the best," he continued.
"I needed to put in a big pre-season and I wanted to lead this young side and put my best foot forward.
"There wasn't any big discussion, I just knew within myself that I had to improve to still be in this team with such a good young forward group.
"It was every day, getting up, rocking into training with the mindset 'this is the day to make a difference with these young boys coming through. I need to show my experience and help them'.
"I had to use everything that I had learned from the year before and take it into this year.
"As much as it hurt last year, I wouldn't change a thing."
STATS THAT MATTER
* The Panthers' 15 game winning streak is the longest winning streak heading into a Finals series since Jack Gibson's 1975 Roosters team which won 19 straight heading into the Finals before losing the major semi-final (but recovered to claim the title).
* Since the re-introduction of the top 8 in 1999, 14 of the past 21 minor premiers have gone on to play in the grand final with seven of the 14 being grand final winners.
* The Roosters enter the finals after a 52-point loss, this is the biggest losing margin heading into the finals of any team, Brisbane the previous worst losing by 46 points to Eels in 2007 (68-22).