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It only took Kevin Walters a brief moment for the déjà vu to kick in.


Taking charge on his first official day at Knights HQ as a halves coach, Walters runs the players through drills from passing to running lines.


The former Broncos, Queensland and Australian five-eighth is directing just like he did in his playing days, now over a decade ago.


As Walters watches the likes of Jarrod Mullen and Tyrone Roberts display their silky skills, his mind casts back to September last year when the pair put on a masterclass to help the Knights defeat the Storm in a thrilling semi-final.


He was assistant coach with Melbourne at the time, but flash forward three months and the former NRL star is now entrenched in the red and blue of Newcastle.


And while Walters, a loyal Queenslander, jokes that the blue on his new uniform doesn't suit him, he is genuinely pumped at the prospect of working with Mullen and Roberts in a bid to take their football to a new level.


"Just looking around I got reminded of last season in the semi finals when I was working for the Storm," Walters grins.


"And again here at training this morning, there is a good vibe about the place.


"So it should be exciting times for the Knights and hopefully myself as well.


"Roberts and Mullen in particular were both outstanding last year through the run to the finals and I just want to help them maintain that consistency in their game every week."


On top of the past three seasons at the Storm as an assistant, Walters has worked in a number of coaching roles from the Queensland Cup through to a two-year gig with the Catalan Dragons in the English Super League.


He was looking to land a full-time role as an head NRL coach this season, but when that didn't eventuate he jumped at the chance to re-join Bennett after all those successful years at the Broncos.


"Wayne and I have been communicating for the last couple of years," says the 46-year-old, who has worked with world-class players like Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith at the Storm.


"I was hoping to get one of the positions in a head coach role, but it didn’t eventuate.


"Wayne and I just started speaking one day and he told me there might be an opportunity down here to work with the players.


"I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for me personally to stay involved at this level.


"I’ll also be doing some other coaching with the Queensland under 20s and the Emerging Squad, but the Knights is good to get into club level again."


Walters says Mullen and Roberts have the ability to emulate their efforts from the Knights' charge to the finals last season.


He was highly impressed with the pair's effort and application on his first day of training on Thursday and is looking forward to helping the duo take their football to even greater heights in 2014.


"That was my first training session, but I’ve watched a lot of vision of him (Tyrone) and he is an exciting player," the four-time premiership-winner enthuses.


"He has a good skills set to make things happen.


"He is only a young boy, so he has got a lot of work in front of him.


"But certainly his skills are really good for a boy of that age, while Jarrod is coming into his best years here as a player.


"His skill set is as good as anyone with his kicking and running game, so we’ve just got to try and improve those as best we can.


"Already this morning I’ve seen his leadership within the group and he is really well respected.


"As a coach you want to work with some of the best players in the game and they are certainly here at the Knights."


The season kick-off against the Panthers on March 8 may be eight weeks away yet, but Walters already can't wait to see how Newcastle puts their pre-season effort into practice and perform on the field.


"Watching the Knights finish off last year and knowing the potential that is here, it’s very exciting," he says.


"Wayne is always building and looking for that little extra edge that he can get anywhere.


"I know he had a tough first year here, but last year things started to come together really nicely.


"I’m sure he will be looking for better things again this year.


"Everyone likes to keep improving and that will be the idea with the Knights as well.


"So it will be keeping that steady path and make sure they are heading in the right direction."


Based on his first day on the job at Knights HQ, Walters has no doubts the Club will do that and compete with the best teams in the NRL again in 2014.