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nib Newcastle Knights Physical Performance Manager Tony Ayoub again sat down with Knights TV to talk pre-season training after week six.

This week coaching staff ramped up training efforts and welcomed new recruit Mitchell Pearce.

“The next few weeks are certainly important for us, given this is a really important time for fitness and strength,” said Ayoub.

“The last few weeks will make a huge difference to what we are trying to achieve.

“While last week was certainly a down week, it started to get really hot and next week we’re looking at some really high temperatures as well, so it’s set to be a tough period for the boys.

“They are just trying to grit their teeth and get through and do all the right things in terms of their strength, recovery, hydration and their sleep so that is a real focus for us with such a young group.

“With constant repetition, hopefully we’ll run into Christmas with some really good gains.”


This week, the arrival of Mitchell Pearce created a buzz around the Club and coaching staff have been impressed with the halfback’s first week.

“Mitch is just a competitor, he’s a really lovely man as well as a good young footballer,” Ayoub commented.

“What has kept him at the top of his game for so long at the Roosters is his competitiveness.

“We tested him this week to see where he’s at because he has had a fair period off… he’s been doing a bit of training on his own but it is really hard when he’s in a different environment.

“There is no doubt Mitch gritted his teeth early in the week, showed us what he is made of and certainly came out on top with our fitness testing and some of the stuff that he has been doing in the gym this week.

“He is going to teach our young guys a few things over the next few weeks and few years… he is a breath of fresh air, he’s got a lot of energy and is positive around all the boys.”


Ayoub maintains all new recruits over the last month and a half have integrated well into the squad.

“We have got a good bunch of guys… Tautau (Moga), Mitchell (Pearce), Aidan Guerra, Connor Watson, they have just slotted in seamlessly,” he explained.

“The boys get on really well and they are working really hard and there’s no doubt we are happy with where they are at.

“We just want to keep tracking upwards.

“The squad is ahead of where we thought they would be but all we can ask for is to improve on what we did last year and to be seen as a hard-working team and hopefully that will translate into some decent wins for us.”