Knights TV sat down with head coach Nathan Brown to talk through what went well in 2017 and where improvements need to be made.
Brown admits the playing group faced a lot of challenges from the beginning.
“Probably our biggest challenge was losing Jarrod (Mullen) and Rory (Kostjasyn) without playing a game,” said Brown.
“Both play in important positions and were two of our most experienced players.
“Also, losing Dylan Phythian 40 minutes into Round 1 was hard because we trained him to play fullback and we believed he was going to have a very good year.”
While the wins for the season were sporadic, the Knights coach says there was plenty of improvement.
“In a lot of the games we played last year, they were over at half time and we got beat up pretty bad,” Brown commented.
“Other sides were far more physical and mature and ready for first grade than us.
“We had a lot of kids out there that probably weren’t ready to play first grade football; a lot played before their time and a lot more games than they should have.
“This year was a lot better and I think we led 12 or 13 times at half time.
‘We may have only won a couple of those games but to be in those games has probably shown how far the younger kids have come and the huge strides they have made.”
A number of the younger players, including Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Danny Levi, Mitch Barnett and Luke Yates were the highlight to come out of 2017 and were swiftly locked down by the Knights, signed on for future years.
Brown said being at the bottom of the table can hinder a club’s ability to keep young talent.
“It presents challenges because you are at the bottom of the table and other clubs have far more attractive offers or they have access to more third-party money or sponsorship,” Brown explained.