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Garth Brennan named as new Head of Pathways

The nib Newcastle Knights are delighted to confirm the appointment of Garth Brennan as the Club’s new Head of Pathways.

A born and bred Novocastrian, Brennan will begin work at the Knights in time for the commencement of the 2022 pre-season with an unmatched skillset and knowledge of the system he will oversee.

A former NRL Head Coach, the 49-year-old spent 12 years in the Knights development system, holding coaching roles in the Harold Matthews, Jersey Flegg, NYC and NSW Cup teams from 2003-2015.

The appointment will allow Brennan to oversee all elite Knights pathways, from the grassroots all the way up to both the NRL and NRLW teams.

Knights CEO, Mr Philip Gardner, said Brennan’s return to the Club marked a crucial milestone in the development of first-class pathways for junior talent across the Knights’ expansive catchment area.

“Garth has a proven record in the junior development space, having played a key role in the careers of some of the best players in our game,” Mr Gardner said.

“Garth will be a tremendous asset for the Club moving forward and we can’t wait to have him join the team.”

A former Knights junior himself, Brennan was a well-respected fullback for Wests Newcastle in the local competition before entering into coaching.

Post his playing days, Brennan has spent his career developing and nurturing some of the game’s best talent across the Hunter, Sydney and South-East Queensland.

Ahead of his imminent return to the Knights, Brennan said he was looking forward to again working with one of the most dynamic junior systems in the country.

“I can’t wait to get involved and I’m really looking forward to the challenge this role presents,” Brennan said. 

“The Club at the moment is filled with quality people, including Adam O’Brien, Danny Buderus, Alex McKinnon and Head of Performance Hayden Knowles. The chance to work alongside them, as well as the Wests Group, is one I just couldn’t refuse.

“For my entire career I’ve been really passionate about strengthening junior development and pathways programs, which has been some of the most enjoyable and rewarding work of my life so far.

“Newcastle is my home, and I want every young player in the region to see a direct opportunity and pathway to play for their hometown Club.

“I firmly believe in building from within and that representing your hometown in front of friends and family is incredibly meaningful for these local juniors.

“My proudest achievement in coaching has been making a difference in the lives of these young players, so when this opportunity came up, I just couldn’t say no.”