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It may have been a baptism of fire for Kade Snowden returning to pre-season training on Tuesday, but it was the enthusiasm and energy of the emerging Newcastle Knights that impressed and motivated the seasoned forward.

The Knights squad hit the hills at King Edward Park for the familiar yet gruelling pre-season session that aims to push players out of their comfort zone and to the limit. 

“This is the first session I’ve been back to see the whole squad and they are pretty young squad, but they are pretty enthusiastic,” Snowden told the media after training.

It was this enthusiasm that shone at the hill session with many of the squad’s youngest powering ahead and asserting their determination and drive in the challenging test. 

“They will probably train the house down and we’ll have to stick with them,” he added. 

“They will try to beat us and that’s just what the young fellas do.” 

The 27-year-old looks forward to taking on extra responsibility as one of the squad’s senior players and the chance to set a positive example for aspiring Knights. 

“I think there’s a lot (of responsibility) for all the older players here, there’s only a few," he said.

“The rest of the team’s pretty young. 

“I think for me and Jez (Smith) and the other older boys, our role never changes. 

“I think we just have to lead by example and show the younger fellas how to go.” 

With minimal changes to the team, promising young players coming through and the addition of Tariq Sims, Jack Stockwell and Carlos Tuimavave, Snowden is confident in the squad’s strength coming into next season. 

“There hasn’t been that many changes and I think we won the last nine of our 12, so with the younger fellas coming up, no one knows how we’re going to go, but I think we’ll be up there," Snowden concluded.