“It's very reminiscent of 1988 when we put in the first Newcastle Knights side.”
These are the words of nib Newcastle Knights CEO, Mr Phil Gardner, following Friday's historic announcement which will see the Knights enter into the 2021 National Rugby League Women’s (NRLW) competition.
The launch of the first Newcastle Knights women’s side was a special day, with CEO's, players and media coming together for a special event at Rugby League Central in Sydney.
Gardner couldn't stress the importance of the day enough.
Gardner: 'It's a special day'
“This foundational team will build on the history of the Knights and certainly add to the culture of what we are trying to do in the region,” Gardner said.
“We’ll have young girls now that can go into under 6’s in our region that can aspire all the way through the Tarsha Gale, Harvey Norman, NRLW and play for their state and play for their country.
“It’s absolutely vital for us to provide the same opportunity for young women that we are providing for young men. It’s a wonderful pathway for every young woman in our region just as it is for every young man in our region."
“We are really proud to be able to do that. We are looking forward to some great success on the field,” he added.
Former Knights player Blake Green is set to be the team's inaugural head coach, with Mr Gardner confirming his appointment following Friday's announcement.
Here. We. Come.
The veteran playmaker has over 181 NRL games to his name and multiple titles in the UK on his resume.
While this is his first step into the coaching arena, Mr Gardner asserted his confidence in Green's ability to lead a side.
“Blake for us is one of the guys that has done everything on the field he can possibly do,” he said.
“He’s a player with great skill, he shows great empathy for everyone around him and it’s something Blake has wanted to do for some period of time and we are really excited to have him as a head coach for next year.”