Trial a chance for first impressions
When it comes to first impressions, Newcastle Knight Lachlan Fitzgibbon knows the value of making a positive one.
It’s why he’s so eager to take the field this weekend for the Newcastle Knights’ NSW Cup trial match at No.2 Sportsground against Wentworthville/Parramatta Eels in front of new coach Nathan Brown.
The 21-year-old, who made his debut in Round 21 last year, is eager to impress in the hopes of securing one of the positions still up for grabs in a squad that features plenty of youth and developing players amongst its ranks.
“I can’t wait to start playing this weekend. It will be my first game in four months,” he said.
“First impressions usually last a while and I don’t think (Nathan) Browny has seen much of us play.”
A major motivator for the local junior will be the competition and depth among the squad, particularly with the addition of the Club’s new recruits.
“There are a few new boys, but healthy competition is always good and makes you strive for more and train harder,” he said.
“We’re fielding a pretty strong side and there are a lot of boys who are in contention for an NRL spot come round one.
“There are also a lot of boys who will be playing in the reggies squad round one.
“It will be a hit out we’ll be taking quite seriously.”
The NSW Cup Knights 2015 grand finalist expects the opposition to pose a serious challenge in the Club’s first 80-minute trial following the electric Auckland Nines tournament on the weekend.
“Wenty (Wentworthville) always fields a strong side and Parra (Parramatta Eels) are coming off a good Nines tournament,” he said.
“They’ll be keen to give a few young blokes a run I guess. Hopefully it will be a physical encounter and will get us ready for round one.
The chance to return to the field is long awaited for the back rower with the trial match the culmination of more than three months of grueling pre-season training.
“I think everyone knows what they have to do, we all have to perform strongly,” he said.
“Later in the week we’ll talk about a few key messages we will take leading into the game.
“Everyone needs to be ready to go so need to put into place their practices for Saturday.”
NSW Cup Newcastle Knights v Parramatta/ Wentworthville
Date: Saturday February 13
Venue: Newcastle No. 2 Sportsground
Time: NYC 5pm NSW Cup 7pm