Whether a seasoned veteran or young talent on the rise, the opportunity to wear the red and blue in this Sunday’s NSW Cup grand final will instil a sense of pride and achievement for each and every Newcastle Knight.
Nathan Ross spoke to teammates Matt Hilder and Chad Redman after Sunday’s preliminary final win against the Illawarra Cutters.
Hilder said his body is holding up well for this stage of the season and is strong and healthy coming into the grand final.
“I’ll be good to go next weekend,” the 32-year-old captain said.
The veteran Knight, who has played 101 first grade games with the Club, attributes this season’s success to how well his teammates have gelled.
“This is probably the closest team I’ve played with in any grade,” he said.
“Everyone is all on the same page on where they want to go.
“They all hang out together and all have a good time together, there’s no little clicks or anything, it’s just the boys in one big group.
“I think that’s a good part of the reason why we’re doing so well."
Hilder has just announced he'll retire at season's end and hopes to conclude his stellar career with a grand final win.
“I’m happy to get there with these boys because it’s been a good year and very enjoyable,” he said.
“I’m grateful to do my last year with a bunch of good blokes and get a chance of winning a title.”
Meanwhile, for 21-year-old NSW Cup hooker Chad Redman, the prospect of winning the grand final holds just as much weight.
The Western Suburbs Rosellas junior has progressed through the Knights development system and has dreamt of the chance to win a premiership for the Club.
“It means everything, I love putting the red and blue jumper on,” Redman said.
“It’s been good the last couple of weeks.
“George Ndaira (assistant coach) has helped me a lot, so it’s probably him who has credit for the last 10 weeks of my game.
“I just can’t wait to get in the grand final next weekend with the bunch of blokes we have here.
“We’re just great mates.”
Redman expects a tough game from opponents, the Penrith Panthers, but believes his side will be ready for the challenge.
“Everyone’s gotta be on next week against Penrith," he said.
“They won the minor premiership 10 points clear of us, so it’s got to be game on next week and will need to bring a bit of consistency and a bit of energy coming off the bench.”
The Knights play the Panther at Allianz Stadium this Sunday. CLICK HERE for more game detail.