Newcastle Knights Old Boy Danny Buderus has likened Mitchell Pearce's arrival to Ben Kennedy’s decision to join Newcastle 17 years ago.

“Ben Kennedy for mine is the best we’ve ever had,” he said.

“From where the club has been to where it is going, it’s just so exciting to think that an elite player is coming to the club on the back of a lot of hard work from a lot of people.

“It gives a lot of hope to a lot of people who have been believing for a long time.”

Pearce brings a wealth of experience to the Knights, who finished last in the past three seasons 2and have qualified for the finals series three times since in 10 years.

“There’s no doubt we’re going to be better next year, but how good we’re going to be is yet to be seen,” Buderus said.

“There will be a period where everything will start to click and you’ll see a real significant improvement in the Newcastle Knights team.

“They’ve got the foundations there … now you start to put a bit of polish on it with a signing like Mitchell… and the picture starts to be painted.

“Where it’s at now and headed, it’s going to be one of the top clubs in the next couple of years and that’s great.”

This article appears in full at nrl.com.