Interview: Shaun Kenny-Dowall
nib Newcastle Knights winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall admits it’s exciting to know football is just around the corner with two trial matches scheduled for next month.
The recently turned 30-year-old said the squad can’t wait to get out on the field for the first time as a new-look team.
“Everyone is excited to test out our combinations, see where our fitness is at,” commented Kenny-Dowall.
While we’ve been training hard against each other and working on combinations, it will finally be good to put it in a game situation and really test where we’re at.Shaun Kenny-Dowall Outside back
“We’re against the reigning premiers for our first trial, so we’re really looking forward to going down to Melbourne.
“While we’ve been training hard against each other and working on combinations, it will finally be good to put it in a game situation and really test where we’re at.”
Kenny-Dowall says preparations have already started to ramp up as trial match dates edge closer.
“We’ve been doing a lot of opposed sessions, we’ve spent a lot of time out on the training pitch doing game situations, but it’s different when you’re coming up against the likes of the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels,” he explained.
“To get that full 80-minute performance going is going to be crucial and the trials will be our last chance to fine tune everything.”
After arriving late into the season last year, Kenny-Dowall was a mainstay for the Knights out wide but will be pushed for his position in 2018, especially from his younger counterparts.
“All the younger guys, Matt Cooper and Tommy Hughes have been training really hard and pushing us older guys for positions,” added Kenny-Dowall.
“We are getting the best out of each other because spots are up for grabs and there’s still some time, so everyone is looking to put in good performances in the trials.
“Having Rossy (Nathan Ross) and all the boys, we’re really competitive and it’s been a great pre-season.”
This year the backline is also looking a lot more daunting for opposition teams, with size and strength on the Knights' side.
“It’s good having big Tautau (Moga) out there, he can do some really amazing things on the field and that’s really going to help us get our sets going forward,” said Kenny-Dowall.
“There’s no limit to what we can achieve as a team and that’s the exciting thing.
“It’s up to us,how far we take it and I know all the boys are heading in the right direction and they’re really excited to get the season going.”