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He was the Club’s first 2018 signing to make an appearance at pre-season training on Wednesday morning, and Jacob Lillyman says he can’t wait to get stuck in.

After a challenging first up session, the 33-year-old prop fronted the media and held his new Club and town in high order.

“This town loves its footy team and I want to play a part in getting it back where it belongs,” he explained.

“If you look at that last game (in season 2017), around 20,000 people showed up.”

Lillyman, who joins the Club from the Zealand Warriors, has been keeping a close eye on his new club since signing on.

“When I was playing for the Warriors, we only just beat the Knights at home when they probably should have won,” he said.

“And then they beat us back here (in Newcastle), so I can see there’s the makings of a good young side.

“If we can give things a real red hot crack, it would be good to reward the loyal supporters and give them something to hold on to.”

Lillyman ended his 2017 season early with a torn bicep, and had surgery soon after. It meant he could do little to maintain his fitness during the off-season.

“It was a tough little session today and there was a bit of testing,” Lillyman said.

“The lungs and legs really felt it, but I’m certainly looking forward to getting out there and ripping in with the boys.

“I’m only a week or two away from full contact again.”

Connor Watson is the next 2018 signing reporting for duty, as he’s set to start pre-season training on Tuesday November 7.