A new era is on the horizon for the nib Newcastle Knights. Halfback and Captain Mitchell Pearce spoke for the first time to the news of coach Nathan Brown’s imminent departure from the Club.
Watch: Gardner’s praise for Brown
Brown, who has been at the helm of the Knights since 2016, was instrumental in luring the No.7 north from the Sydney Roosters last season, with the duo enjoying a close relationship ever since.
Pearce spoke nothing but praise for his out-going mentor.
“It’s obviously strange emotions isn’t it? When something like that happens,” Pearce said.
“Obviously I’ve got a good relationship with Browny, and all I want to say it’s obviously worked out well for Browny as far as the way it’s unfolded.
“I don’t know the story line behind it but as Captain and as a player having a relationship with Browny, it seems to have been done the right way.
“As a playing group it’s about us focusing on the next few weeks.”
Despite the media attention and potential for distraction, Pearce claims it’s business as usual for both the playing group and coaching staff.
“It’s been healthy the way it’s happened,” he said.
'There was an incredible sense of achievement'
“As a playing group you just come in and react to a decision, keep your head down and stay together and worry about results.
“I think it happened healthy, because everyone’s come in and seems to be pretty together about the situation.
“Our job is to focus on our little fairy-tale finish to the end of the season.”
Reflecting on Brown’s time at the Knights, Pearce was again full of acclaim for his boss.
“I wasn’t here when it first sort of went down, but when Browny first came to the club, from all reports the place was pretty messy,” Pearce said.
“He’s done a really good job and like I said it’s been a healthy environment today.”
When quizzed on who he thinks will Brown’s shoes come 2020, Pearce refused to delve into any speculation.
“They’re all good candidates, one thing I know about Phil (CEO Philip Gardner) and this club is they want the best and they’re going to make a decision about what they feel they need,” he said.
“Right now, my coach is Browny and I’ve learned a hell of a lot off him, and I’ll keep doing that until the end of the year.
“Then we’ll worry about next year when it happens.”