It’s not long until the nib Newcastle Knights take on the Parramatta Eels in their second trial match of 2018 in front of a sell-out crowd at Maitland on Saturday night.
The first 2018 recruit to arrive at Knights HQ back in November, experienced forward Jacob Lillyman admits the players have been eagerly awaiting their final hit-out before Round 1.
“I'm very excited,” Lillyman said after the Captain's Run on Friday morning.
“It has been a very long pre-season, so it’s just great to get out there and play some footy.
“We’ve got a number of new players all excited to put on the Knights jersey and we’re looking forward to getting out there.”
Lillyman is looking forward to a sea of red and blue taking over Maitland’s No.1 Sportsground.
“It’s fantastic... ever since I got here the community has really been behind us and despite being a tough couple of years for the Club, you wouldn’t know it from the support,” added Lillyman.
“There are so many loyal supporters, but it’s a real rugby league heartland and we’re really looking forward to giving them something to cheer for.”
Lillyman predicts fans will be delighted with the brand of footy set to be displayed.
“We’re certainly looking to use the ball a little bit more, play some footy and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about.
“We did have a bit of a run against Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, but it was a bit of a weird one and we didn’t get a whole lot out of that game.
“This game we’re certainly really looking to build on and put in a good solid performance leading into Round 1.
“We’re not going to be too worried about the results but there’s a lot of things we want to focus on and improve on and bring about a more polished performance."