After Catalans Dragons came up just short in 2021 in terms of their pursuit of a maiden Super League title, many were tipping them to go one better in 2022.
This was because of the exciting recruitment coming through the door such as NRL stars Mitchell Pearce and Tyrone May.
May took some time to settle into a rhythm in Perpignan and struggled to nail down a position until the end of the year when he began playing in the halves.
However, he was unable to stop the Dragons being dumped out of the play-offs at the first hurdle when they came up short against Leeds at home.
Nonetheless, everything is posed to be a better season in 2023 for May and co, but there is one man outside of France he can thank for where he is today.
May was well loved at Penrith till controversy reigned when he was sacked by Penrith last year.
It came after the Grand Final winning utility referenced his court case on social media days after the final, regarding filming and distributing sex tapes without consent back in 2019. The case culminated in him receiving 300 hours of community service narrowly side-stepping jail time according to the Daily Mail.
It also spelt the end for him with the NRL Champions leaving him needing a fresh start in Super League.
However, this hasn’t stopped him from heaping the praise on Penrith boss Ivan Cleary who he described as a “father figure” when speaking to News Corp.
He said of Cleary and the difficulties he has faced throughout his career: “For me personally, [Ivan has] been there through all my bad times.
“Whenever I was feeling a bit iffy I could go to him because I had that good relationship with him where I could tell him about stuff that was playing on my mind.
“It helped a lot, it was like having another father figure.”
This morning (UK time) Cleary is going in search of a rare second consecutive NRL title in his third consecutive Grand Final alongside sun Nathan Cleary.
They take on the Parramatta Eels in what should be an outstanding final.