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It was an eye-opener for the Club’s new recruits when they walked out to a massive crowd at Wests Mayfield for the 2017 Member Season Launch on Saturday morning.

Despite a tough week there was plenty of red and blue support spread across the training field, and it wasn’t long before a rousing chant of ‘Newcastle’ was belted out.

With coach and players in attendance, a photo booth, an autograph station, merchandise marquee, sausage sizzle provided by youth players, jumping castles and much more, the Season Launch was a must for any 2017 Member.

It also provided a massive boost after a long and challenging pre-season, something that they would be able to take into the season ahead.

“Off the back of a second wooden spoon, I think to go from 9,000 Members to 11,000 is an outstanding show of support for a young team,” Nathan Brown said.

“Having Members on the board helps the Club develop, and without them you don’t have a Club.

“It has been a really difficult week, and I know the boys appreciate it.”

It was new recruit Jamie Buhrer’s first Member Season Launch, and Knights TV caught up with him at the autograph station.

“It’s unbelievable the number of fans that have turned out, and it’s great to meet them,” he said.

Dane Gagai added, “The boys have been working hard in the pre-season, and to see so many Members showing up is unbelievable.

“It gives us that extra bit of belief and we’re going to do everything we can to give back to these people.”

With the 2017 season now officially launched, games don’t seem quite so far away, and the players are getting itchy feet.

“It’s always a long pre-season and we’re just really chomping at the bit to go and play some footy,” Buhrer said.

“It will be good to start playing some trials and whacking people other than your teammates.

“All the boys are looking forward to that first trial match and the first round.”