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Matt Gidley

Newcastle Knights CEO Matt Gidley spoke about his vision for the Newcastle Knights at a press conference on Thursday morning on the back of the announcement he will remain as CEO plus the extension of nib's partnership.  

“It’s certainly a privilege to be given the role for another two years, but there’s a lot of work to be done and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Gidley said.

“I understand how important the Club is to the community, so we have a lot of work to do. 

“We worked out way through a number of challenges this year, there’s certainly a unique opportunity to set the Club up well.

“Today’s announcement with nib is one of those.

“They’ve been a wonderful partner for 30 years, it will be at the end of this extension."

Reflecting on the past years as CEO, Gidley admitted the time has certainly seen some challenges but plenty of positives as well. 

“It’s been great to work with some wonderful people," he said.

“We have wonderful partners here with nib and we have a number of other key partners we’re looking to sure up in the near future. 

“I guess it’s the people inside the organisation. 

“Everyone works incredibly hard, so I’m looking forward to working closely with everyone and building a successful Club for the community."

At present, the Club is in an interim ownership model with the NRL with no potential owners on the horizon.

“There’s no absolute timeframe around that, there is a process underway to appoint a board, so I don’t think they’re in a rush,” Gidley explained.   

“It’s important we get the right people. 

“From my point of you, one of the most exciting things about taking on the role for another two years is being able to work with a new and really capable board that will help our Club grow into the future." 

He explained that under the model, any ownership negotiations are being handled by the NRL.

“The NRL are engaging any potential owners," Gidley said.

“My understanding is there haven’t been any lengthy discussions with any new owners at this stage, but all those negotiations sit with the NRL.

“I said quiet early that my focus is with the Club and the operations of the Club." 

After the announcement that coach Wayne Bennett will cease his role at the Knights at the end of the 2014 season, the Club has commenced the process of appointing a new head coach to begin in 2015.

“We’re working our way through that process and there’s a number of really quality candidates out there,” Gidley assured. 

“It’s an important appointment for our Club so we’ll take our time to ensure we get the best possible candidate for our Club.

“We’re pretty clear on the type of coach we need moving forward. 

“We will make a recommendation back to the full board. 

“The quality of candidates that have put their name forward allows me to be optimistic about the Club’s future." 

Looking to the future, the CEO has a clear vision of where he would like to see the Club and its players. 

“I don’t think they’ll be any secret that our Club will be at it’s best when the majority of our Club is locally developed players," he said.

“That’s a real focus of ours and we’ve won premierships on the back of that.

“We have a clear understanding on the type of Club we want to build.

“I think it’s important that the Club reflects the community’s values as well. 

“So that is something that’s at the front of our minds and we will work incredibly hard as a team to achieve in the next couple of years.

“I think that it was important, and it happened on Friday night, to see that the team plays in a way that the community respects.

“They came out as underdogs against the premiers with a number of young, locally developed players making their debut and doing the Club and everyone proud.

"I think that’s what the community expects and if we can slowly introduce more locally developed players into our NRL team, I think its certainly part of the success moving forward."