Newcastle Knights’ captain Kurt Gidley fronted a press conference at Knights' headquarters at Wests Mayfield on Tuesday afternoon to speak about the announcement he would depart the Club at season’s end to join the Warrington Wolves in England’s Super League.
Joined by CEO and brother Matt Gidley as well as coach Rick Stone, the Club’s captain expressed that while the decision to leave the Club came with sadness, he was excited for the next chapter of his career.
“I just really want to make the most the rest of the year and training, away trips and all the little things I’ve taken for granted at times throughout my careers,” Kurt said.
Coach Rick Stone believes Gidley and his contribution to the Knights holds a unique place in the Club’s history.
“Thinking back from Sam Stuart through to Chief (Paul Harragon) and then Joey (Andrew Johns), and Beds (Danny Buderus), he’s right up there with those sort of blokes,” Stone said.
“It’s a big responsibility captaining in this town and he’s taken it to heart.
"I think back to our inaugural coach Allan McMahon and his credo was to be the player everyone wants to play with and I think if anyone has lived by that credo better than Kurt than I haven’t met him in this Club.
"Everyone wants to play with him and everyone loves his intensity, competiveness and willingness to play a number of positions.
“All those things show just how unselfish he is and just how competitive he is."
Meanwhile, CEO Matt Gidley spoke about Kurt’s priority to retain younger players at the Club.
"Right from the start Kurt made it really clear the priority for the Club should be in retaining the best young talent that we have,” Gidley said.
"That’s the future. It’s not only the talent that’s in the players but the type of characters they are too."
While Kurt admits he’s not always been the most talented or strongest, his brother Matt says his attitude and effort throughout his career epitomizes what the Club stands for.
“Kurt has always been pretty fortunate. He was always pretty raw,” Matt said.
“He’s always had great mentors around the Club and there’s been great men around the whole time.
“Everyone has always been fantastic to him. He just kept hanging in there and working hard and competing hard, all the traits we love to see at our Club.”