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Competition - NRL Premiership Round. Round - Round 23. Teams - Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers. Date - 14th of August 2016. Venue - Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow, NSW. Photographer - Paul Barkley.

With the retirement of Jeremy Smith, James McManus and more recently Kade Snowden, the Club is working behind the scenes on recruitment.

“The movement in rugby league seems to happen more in September than it does earlier in the year,” coach Nathan Brown admitted.

“The roster changes will heat up as teams finish playing.

“We have a plan in place, and players we want to talk to.

“At the moment it is not the right time for the Club or player.

“As the year gets to an end and sides stop playing, we will see a fair bit of movement at a lot of clubs, that is the way the game is today.”

With one game left to play in what has been a tough 2016 season, the coach looks ahead with optimism.

"The worst of what we are going through has happened now,” Brown said on Tuesday.

"We have 20 players off contract next year so I’d imagine a number of players will turn up in far better shape than they did last pre-season.

"Truth be told I have never seen a squad as unfit as the squad we had this year and that was evident in the pre-season.

“I am quite hopeful they will turn up in better shape... and will train a lot harder than they did last year because their body will be capable of it. 

“We have quite a lot of planning to do and we have some new staff coming in with experience that can help there.”

The Knights take on the Dragons this Saturday a Jubilee Oval before concluding the 2016 campaign.