MIKOLAJ Oledzki admits he feels old before his time – but he wants to keep tasting silver.
The Leeds prop may only be 22-years-old but is already a mainstay of their pack.
And now he has won the Challenge Cup, he believes the stage is set for the Rhinos to kick on and get back to the top of Super League and the Grand Final.
Signing the likes of New Zealand prop Zane Tetevano to go with former Australia star Matt Prior will also help as their genuine experience can help show him how it is done in the biggest games.
Oledzki said: “I may be 22 but I feel like I’m about 30!
“I don’t think of myself as a young lad, even though I’m classed as one and once you know what it feels like to win a trophy, it’s addictive and leaves you wanting more.
“After getting a taste of the Challenge Cup, we’d love to do it again. It’s quite rare that teams do it back to back, then there’s the big dance at Old Trafford.
“We fell short last year, so we were a bit frustrated and angry with ourselves as we knew we could’ve done better. We threw the chance away.
“But we’ve learned from last year and it’s enticing to know we’re capable of doing it.
“And it’s great to have the likes of Zane and Matt around as they’ve done it all. I’ve learned from Matt and players like that bring the best out of me.
“When the big games come it’s good to have them around because they’ve done it. Having them around brings that calmness and confidence into the camp.”
Should Oledzki kick on, a place in the red and white of England at the World Cup may be on the cards.
His family, however, loves another team in red and white, his native Poland.
But no-one would be prouder should he make Shaun Wane's squad and like he says, he has been here most of his life anyway!
Oledzki, who moved over as a nine-year-old, added: “England is what I’m working towards. When I enjoy my rugby, I play my best.
“England Knights coach Paul Anderson has told me what’s required to play at the very highest level and areas of my game I need to improve on.
“And my family would be happy for me to play for England as they know how much it means to me. It’s a massive honour and achievement.”
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