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Ayoub outlines 2018 pre-season

It’s just weeks away from the nib Newcastle Knights' pre-season commencing on November 1.

Knights TV spoke with Physical Performance Manager Tony Ayoub about what’s in store for the players, and said a number of players are already preparing for a tough few months ahead.

“We have already had a number of guys in, doing a number of things just to make sure they’re up to speed,” explained Ayoub.

“They know what’s coming in the November, December period and it is a pretty tough period for them.

Ayoub emphasised that he wants the players to hit the ground running when they kick-off pre-season training from November 1.

“With the new recruits coming on, we cannot afford any of our guys to come back out of shape and have to spend a fair portion of our pre-Christmas period trying to get up to speed to a decent level,” Ayoub commented.

“The onus is on them and they are professionals to come back in decent shape so that we make every session count pre-Christmas.

Ayoub maintains a successful pre-season is the key to a competitive 2018 season.

“You look at Melbourne (Storm), North Queensland (Cowboys), Brisbane (Broncos) and the (Sydney) Roosters, they all finished quite high up and were dominant right across the paddock physically but we’ve got to get to those levels.

“We have to reach beyond so that is our aim and we are trying to improve our benchmark and really compete with those sides.



“We did compete to a degree this year; we hope to see that lift again and hopefully that competition we’re striving to get, will translate into wins.”

Ayoub admits the transition of new players into the Club and delayed arrivals due to the World Cup will be difficult, but they’ve had to account for the uncertainty.

“It is difficult because we are flying a little bit blind with a couple of players particularly our new players, Herman Ese’ese,” Ayoub added.

“We're just not sure when they are going to finish so it's really hard to plan.

“Jacob Saifiti is going away on the World Cup, we have Jack Johns going away with the Italy side and is more than likely going to come into our full-time side in the pre-season.

“It's difficult but in saying that, we’ve got to work around what we’ve got and we’ve got a fair portion of our young kids coming back on November 1 which is what our focus is.

“Finishing the finals late, we won’t get Slade Griffin for eight weeks so we’ll just adjust our schedule accordingly for those players.

“They are quality players, quality people; they’ll hit the ground running and they won’t miss too much.

“It would be nice to have everyone together right at the start but that’s just not viable these days.”