Newly appointed head coach Rick Stone says the Club is in good shape coming into 2015 following the appointment of NRL assistant coaches Craig Sandercock and Danny Buderus, as well as NSW Cup’s coach Matt Lantry and NYC’s Troy Pezet.
Stone addressed the media at Wests Mayfield on Monday about the new coaching structure and said the coaching team possesses a valuable mix of experience and local knowledge.
“Craig Sandercock is a bloke I’ve had with me in Newcastle when I was head coach before, he’s spent three years in England as head coach at Hull KR and comes with a wealth of experience and knows our players pretty well,” Stone said.
“Danny Buderus is a local legend around here and just retired from playing recently. He took up as skills coach and a positional coaching role this year and it's good to expand that role to a more seasoned assistant coaching role in 2015.
“Matt Lantry is going to coach our NSW Cup team, he worked with me as an assistant with NSW Cup and went back and did some terrific things with Charlestown.
“Matt has been with the organisation for a long time in junior development and community development andhas some aspirations to be a coach in his own right and this will give him that opportunity and will obviously reward him a little bit for the work he’s done in the community and around the place for a long time.
Stone continued by saying, with high performance coach Troy Pezet named as the NYC coach, the goal is to lift the high performance under 18s to NYC level.
“Troy will basically be controlling most of the coaches below NYC level including the U16s, U18s and development squads in U15s and U17s," he said.
Stone believes the future is bright at the Knights and says the effort shown in all three grades at the end of this season will provide confidence and a platform to start 2015 strongly.
“I think everyone can be enthusiastic, our last four or five games at home were terrific.
"The style of footy we’ve played has been entertaining and enjoyable to play and to watch, which has been great.
"I think the toughness with the NYC missing a few players for the last couple of weeks has been outstanding.
"The NSW Cup were nearly dead and buried in the middle of the season, but we got a few players back and have now won eight in a row and they have given themselves a real chance of having a crack of the competition.
“We’re comfortable we’re moving forward in the right direction and really happy with the way we’ve finished the season and are excited about the season in front of us.
“The Club’s in good shape and we’re really pushing forward with promoting from within and giving our juniors an opportunity.
“With these coaching appointments, all these boys know our juniors really well and have a strong understanding of what they can do and will hopefully help them evolve and develop into the players we hope they can evolve to."
Watch the press conference above to hear from Stone and newly announced coaches Buderus, Lantry and Pezet.