Tim Glasby is used to taking his end-of-season holidays after the October long weekend.
Hardly surprising after playing in the past three grand finals for Melbourne, and being a member of a Storm squad that has reached the finals every year since his debut NRL season in 2013.
But the 29-year-old hard head has no intention of bringing forward his spring vacation just because he has relocated to Newcastle. The Townsville-born, Rockhampton-raised middle forward has high hopes for the Knights and is keen to continue his post-season streak.
“Obviously I’d become accustomed to playing at the back end of the year, which I really enjoyed doing, but I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think there was the potential here to do that,” Glasby told NRL.com on Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t stand here and say that we’re there yet, because we do have a great squad, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.
“But I’m really enjoying the building process and how all that is coming along, and the best thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been here is that the players’ attitudes are fantastic.”
Glasby signed a three-year deal last May after visiting Newcastle and meeting coach Nathan Brown.
That was before the Knights had recruited David Klemmer, James Gavet, Mason Lino or Kurt Mann.
But leaving a perennial title contender to join the club that finished last in 2015, 2016 and 2017 was a leap of faith Glasby was prepared to take.
“When I first signed, we obviously didn’t know ‘Klem’ was coming here, or James Gavet, and Kurt recently signed as well,” he said.
“So there was some potential there, and though we didn’t have a great idea of what the squad was going to be, just with what they had, I thought there was some good potential to build on.
“Brownie spoke to me about what my role might be if I was to come to the Knights, and he spoke to me about the team they had and what they were trying to build on top of that, and it was something that really excited me.
“I’d seen some potential in the team from playing them, and Kalyn [Ponga] was playing some good footy last year and Mitchell Pearce and Aidan Guerra had already come here, so there was some good potential there and I felt good about coming and joining a good growing squad.
“I was keen to come and play whatever role I had to play.”
A veteran of more than 100 NRL games for Melbourne, and three Origins appearances for Queensland, Glasby came off the bench in Newcastle’s 18-10 loss to the Dragons at WIN Stadium last Saturday. He has been named to start at lock for their final trial against Cronulla at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday, supporting starting props Klemmer and Gavet in the middle.
“I’d like to think that I’ll bring some consistency. I’m not a flashy player by any means but I’ve learnt how to prepare well for games and do the training I need to do to get ready then take that into the game each week,” Glasby said.
“If anything, I hope the Knights have got themselves a consistent player, and whatever my role is each week, I’ll do my best to get out there and do it consistently well. If everyone else in the team can do that, then we’ll put ourselves in a really good position to perform well.”
Apart from his own duties, Glasby has been helping hone the skills of his younger team-mates.
He developed his game and took the knocks playing for Melbourne’s Queensland Cup feeder teams before Craig Bellamy was convinced he had a hard enough edge to cut it with the Storm in the NRL.
“I’ve taken on a bit of a mentoring role to help out some of the younger players,” he said.
“Because they were playing in an inexperienced team here, they may have missed some technical sides of the game. I suppose I’ve been very fortunate that I came through a great system at Melbourne and I learnt a lot of that early on before I got on the first-grade paddock.
“They’ve picked my brain a little bit and I love working on little parts of my game as well, so I get out there and do it with them. I just try to help them figure out what they’re good at, and help them try to get better at that.
“There’s young blokes here that are just learning. There’s young blokes here that have played 40 or 50 NRL games but are still trying to learn their trade, so it’s been a very different experience for me helping them along but I’ve enjoyed it.”
Glasby can feel the excitement building among his team-mates and Newcastle fans, and is sure the Knights will hit the ground running against the Sharks at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 15.
He said it would be equally important for them to back up with the same energy and enthusiasm against Penrith eight days later, and bring the same effort the week after that, and learn to maintain those intensity levels through the seven-month slog of the regular season.
“I want the boys to get excited about every game because playing footy is good fun. That’s what we train so hard all pre-season for, so I’d expect the boys to be pretty keen and pumped up, especially early in the season,” he said.
“But it will be through that middle part of the season where the experience of some of the older players like myself can help the boys maintain some consistency, because it’s when you get into the grind of the season, that’s when we’ve got to help lift them up and keep them up for those games.”
If they stick to that schedule, perhaps Knights fans can start thinking about booking finals tickets for the first time since 2013, and Glasby can hold off from seeing his travel agent any time soon.