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Brown looks ahead to 2018

In the second part of an interview with nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown, Knights TV talked through what the pre-season will hold and some of the new faces coming to the Club.

The Knights coach admits after a well-earned break, the hard work will begin from November 1.

“When they get back, it is going to be a very different year with the World Cup and the fact we’ve been quite successful in the transfer market,” said Brown.

“Some players have competed in finals and their break period is going to be different to a lot of the players.

“We will start on November 1 but there will be a trickle of players new to the Club that will start training a bit later or players that have been in the World Cup.”

The pre-season is set to bring some changes in preparation for the 2018 season, with a number of the Knights’ younger players now having two pre-seasons under their belt.

“Their loads will definitely rise this year and the challenges will be a bit more difficult than what they were last year,” Brown explained.

“The way they adapted last year and the improvement, we’d certainly expect the players to have another good pre-season.

“The load will be heavier whether it’s in the gym or on the field and we expect players' bodies to have adapted.”

Brown admits expectations on players will be a lot higher next season.

“I think there is going to be a little bit more expectation on the team this year which I think the team should embrace,” Brown commented.

“I think what we did last year compared to this year was a big improvement and we’d be expecting that of ourselves this year.

“Collectively we’d like to think that if we can get some things right in the pre-season, we’re certainly excited that we will move forward.”

For the 2018 season, the Club has farewelled more than ten of its players and will welcome several new faces to the playing roster, with more in the works.

“We haven’t finished our recruitment yet,” stated the Knights coach.

“We had a lot leave this year following about 10 or 12 last year so we’ve had a huge turnover in two years.

“Connor Watson is coming to play five-eighth, Kalyn Ponga is playing fullback, Brock (Lamb) probably earnt the right during the year to get the first shot at halfback.

 

Brown has stated if everything goes to plan in the pre-season, Connor Watson and Brock Lamb will start the season in the halves together.
Brown has stated that if everything goes to plan in the pre-season, Connor Watson and Brock Lamb will start the season in the halves together.

 

“Brock’s form at the back end of the year was good and he started to adapt his game a little.

“We have got a new combination coming in, with Slade Griffin from Melbourne (Storm) to operate with Danny, (Levi) who is another new hooker.”

Brown admits the transition of new players into the side will see some challenges.

“Our challenges will probably depend on their fitness and we’ll cross our fingers that all our new recruits can come to training and hit the ground running,” cited Brown.

“Whilst it is going to be challenging, we have brought very good players and they’re more than capable of seeing our squad improve.

“We have signed Aiden Guerra who brings a lot of experience and should be able to help our younger forwards.

“Jacob Lillyman is another very experienced player and both have played a dozen or so Origins so we’d like to think those guys can certainly add to the experience in our squads.

“If we have a bit more luck throughout the next month or two, maybe we can add a little bit more experience to the backline.”