Brown’s word on recruitment
The spotlight is on recruitment at the nib Newcastle Knights as the Club continues to build a squad for the long term.
Coach Nathan Brown maintains while there’s no immediate news, anything is possible.
“We are certainly in a strong financial position, whether something falls or not before June 30, I’m not too sure but we’ve just got to be patient to make sure we get the right people,” explained Brown.
“A couple of main targets, we got Kalyn (Ponga), we missed Jack (Bird). Matt Scott would have been someone we would have loved to get, he stayed at the Cowboys and Dale Finucane was someone we would have loved to get but he stayed at the Storm.
“They are good players that are staying at very strong Clubs or going to very strong Clubs, so we really want to make sure that we get players that take us into the next decade.
“The Club has gone through a lot, the fans have gone through a lot, the last thing we want to do is to react just because we’ve missed player X and pay a lot of money for someone who is not going to take the Club forward.
“The town deserves a good team.”
The Club continues to work with centre Dane Gagai in a bid to keep him in Newcastle.
“He is someone we’d love to stay; I know he is keen to stay and over time I am sure things will work out one way or another," Brown said.
“I know Gags is happy here and his family is happy here, we’ll just have to wait and see but there is no time frame, these things always work themselves out.
“I couldn’t sit here and guarantee that he will do one thing or another but I know he does like Newcastle, he understands what it is all about and his partner and young one are happy, his mum and dad are here, his brother is here, he’s very happy here.
“At the end of the day the weight of money can get anyone, you just don’t know what some Clubs have to spend, where they get it from and how much they are willing to spend in certain positions.
“From our point of view we’d love Gags to stay and I know he is more keen on the idea of staying so we’d have to say we’re definitely in with a decent chance anyway.”
The Knights coach said at this time the Club is being linked to a lot of players, including the likes of Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldog James Graham.
“Because where we are financially in the cap situation, probably a lot better off than more Clubs at the moment, I think everyone is going to be linked to us,” Brown commented.
“Canterbury has got a situation where everyone agrees they have to shed some players.
“It is from my understanding James Graham is definitely a much more favoured player from Des (Hasler) and he’s not on the list of players they want to go, whether that changes I am not too sure.”
Talk has also surrounded the Sydney Roosters’ Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
“We have had a couple of chats, he is one player that is off contract, he’s got a number of things that tick the box for us and he’s very experienced,” added Brown.
“He has won a world cup, a grand final and he’s also been at the Roosters when they were down at the bottom and what’s required to help get it back up high.
“He is also a player that wants to help younger players and he’s a big outside back and we feel while we’ve got some very good outside backs, we’d also like to have one or two bigger ones.
“Where it all ends up we don’t know but he’s certainly a player that we have some interest in that’s for sure.”
Brown maintains they want to find the right players to fit the Club, however long that takes.
“We certainly know we need to find some experience but whether we get six or seven players or three or four players, that will determine by who will be available,” he said.
“What would be more frustrating is paying for someone that’s not going to take the Club back to where it was ten years ago.
“If we hold our nerve long enough, I’m sure we’ll get it right, it just won’t happen tomorrow.”