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'This is everything we want in our staff': O'Brien reveals 2021 coaching team

This is the team behind the team.

Adam O'Brien has assembled an impressive team of full-time football staff, headed up by General Manager of Football Danny Buderus, to help him steer the nib Newcastle Knights through his second year as Head Coach.

In 2021, his support staff looks a little different, with O'Brien appointing three NRL Assistants rather than the two assistant coaches approach adopted in 2020.

Former South Sydney and St George Illawarra halfback Willie Peters will tackle his second straight season in the position, while Eric Smith and Rory Kostjasyn have been promoted to work alongside him as NRL Assistants.

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Smith cut his teeth through the Melbourne Storm system, including as NYC and Sunshine Coast Falcons Head Coach, winning a minor premiership with the Falcons in 2019.

Kostjasyn played 128 NRL games for Melbourne and North Queensland. He has been a member of the Knights coaching staff since his retirement in 2017, spending two seasons at the helm of the Canterbury Cup side before promotion to the role of NRL Development Coach last year.

Former Bulldogs and Eels stalwart Andrew Ryan takes up the NRL Development Coach position which was vacated by Smith and Kostjasyn. Ryan will also take the reins of the NSW Cup side and assist Matthew Morris in delivering the Club's Wellbeing program.

Ryan's appointment comes after a successful stint in charge of South Newcastle in the local first grade competition.

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Anthony Seibold also joins the coaching ranks as a part-time Coaching Consultant, with a focus on coaching the coaches.

At the Junior Level there's also been some major changes, with the Knights not electing to field a Jersey Flegg side in 2021.

Scott Dureau takes charge of the SG Ball side, while remaining in his role as Youth Academy Manager.

Former Origin and Test prop Mark O'Meley joins the team as both a Pathways and Harold Matthews Coach.

Casey Bromilow, the Club's Pathways Manager, will also Coach the Tarsha Gale women's squad.

The changes to the team continue in the High Performance department.

Balin Cupples continues as Head of Physical Performance in what will be his third season at the Club.

Andy Barnett and Mick Reid are new additions to Cupples' High Performance team, with the duo working in Physical Strength and Conditioning, alongside the recently promoted Matthew Toohey.

Heidi Thornton returns as the new Sports Science Analyst, while Peter Gourlay continues to head up the Club's Video analytics. 

Head Physio Phil Bosson's years of association with the Knights medical team continues. He will continue to be supported by Physio Lou Cutler, who joined the team in 2019 after 10 seasons with the Sydney Roosters.

Head of Recruitment Clint Zammit will oversee the recruitment activities, working alongside club legend and Recruitment Officer Alex McKinnon.

O'Brien said he couldn't be happier with the team he's assembled ahead of the new season.

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“We are really pleased with the staff we have here at the Knights," he said.

"It’s a great mixture of positional coaches and each member has a clearly defined role.

"Everyone comes to work well prepared; they are passionate about their roles and strive for success every day.

"That is everything we want in our staff.”