With the bye this week, Knights TV caught up with Pete Mata’utia to talk all things footy, as well as find out more about his bid to raise awareness regarding homelessness in the region.
During the week the team was put through intense training sessions with a focus on going back to basics.
“It was a bit of an education and fitness week, and we probably had our biggest session of the year,” Mata’utia said.
“The boys ripped in and we’re learning a lot and going to make the most of the long turnaround.
“We are trying to get back to the basics, get back to our defence and our strengths.”
This week was also a chance for coaching staff to track the performance of players.
The oldest Mata’utia brother was a standout in the strength department according to Physical Performance Manager Tony Ayoub.
“I am going to be humble about it,” Mata’utia laughed.
“(Luke) Yates is the strongest in the Club for squatting, so all the young guys are doing really well.
“The twins are lifting really well, (Mitch) Barney is doing well and it’s just pleasing to see all the young guys rip in and get the job done.”
Mata’utia admits the bye will be an important time to rest up with a busy few months ahead.
“It is our last break and then heading into 11 straight games is pretty tough, especially for the younger boys who haven’t played a full season on their own at the moment,” he said.
“We are looking forward to the challenge and we can’t wait, it is a really important time for us to get off the bottom of this ladder.”
Away from the field, Mata’utia is teaming up with his brothers for the St Vincent De Paul Society’s CEO Sleepout.
“The 22nd of June, my brothers and I will be sleeping on the concrete with a sleeping bag outside McDonald Jones Stadium,” Mata’utia explained.
“It not only raises awareness for homelessness but it also keeps us on our toes about how lucky we are to do what we do and we shouldn’t take things for granted.
“I am not too sure how I’ll go, I’ve been sleeping with the air conditioning at about 35 degrees at home but I’m looking forward to it.”
Every dollar the Mata’utia brothers raise will help provide crucial assistance to people experiencing homelessness, with the aim of breaking the cycle.
“There are people out there in Newcastle who do it every night during the year and surely our brothers could handle it for one night,” he said.
“It is a big thing in Newcastle, I think from right down to Muswellbrook to the Central Coast there’s more numbers than we think.”
You can donate HERE.