Jack Carty is determined to nail down the Connacht No 10 shirt this season, putting a year of highs and lows behind him.
Carty, who turned 23 earlier this week, admitted he was almost learning on the job last season in his first year as a first-team player with the province, but he's confident that he has learned from the tough days in green.
"All players go though them at some stage in their career, it just came to me a bit earlier than some others," said Carty.
"I took all the learnings from it and hopefully I have learned from it and I hope to kick on from it again and start the season like I finished last season.
"Playing ten last year I was quite inexperienced coming into the season and was nearly learning on the job.
"It was nearly learning from the mistakes: some big mistakes and some small ones and I do feel I've learned from them."
But towards the end of last season Carty stepped forward as a key player for Connacht and he's says he ready to take the reins a bit more now.
A key performance against Gloucester stood out as one of Carty's best, but Connacht fell just short of reaching the Champions Cup.
And after growing into the team last year, the Athlone lad says he's happy to be a real leader.
"Maybe a couple of years ago I was quite shy and my communications skills wouldn't have been where they should have been. I'm still trying to get better, but that's where I've improved most," he said.
"I would have a bit more clarity on the game-plan now. It's good to have the few caps behind me so that I can kick on again."