Following yesterday’s announcement that the nib Newcastle Knights had signed promising young fullback Kalyn Ponga to a four-year deal starting in 2018, Club CEO Matt Gidley addressed the media on Tuesday morning.
“It’s fantastic news for the Club,” he said of the signing.
“It’s always difficult to recruit a player of Kalyn’s calibre from the incumbent club.
“There’s been a lot of people that have put a lot of effort into securing Kalyn’s services for 2018 and beyond.”
And while the signing of Ponga is big news for the Club, Gidley went on to explain that there has been plenty of exaggeration regarding the 18-year-old’s contract.
“If it was purely down to financial reasons, Kalyn wouldn’t have come to the Club,” he explained.
“The opportunity to come to Newcastle and grow with our young team was appealing to him.
“We were probably the longest odds of getting Kalyn at the start of this, so there were a lot of people involved in securing his services.”
Ponga is still contracted with the North Queensland Cowboys for the 2017 season, where he will be aiming to build on his two NRL appearances.
With the Cowboys maintaining that they won’t let the fullback leave early, Gidley emphasised that his current contract must be respected.
“I think it’s important that everyone realises that Kalyn is contracted to the Cowboys next year,” he said.
“We need to respect that, but if the Cowboys do decide to change their position then we would certainly entertain bringing Kalyn here early.”