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2022 Team

Knight Tales

Juniors
Messages
720
Interesting points Yosh. O’Brien has learnt he cannot do it all himself. Bellamy IMHO is a world class coaching director who knows how to get his assistants to a level of greatness he can oversee. it is why their attention to detail is unmatched. He can find strengths in each coach to communicate his demands in Intricate detail. That is what great coaches do. They are like orchestra conductors.

I feel obi’s ego got the better of him the last 2 years but he has acquiesced and brought Joey in to run his attack. If he can perfect this he can win a premiership here. With or without KP.
 

PhilGould

Juniors
Messages
2,105
From AOB's interview with Toohey in the Herald it sounds pretty set in stone that Mann will be the lock and Simi will be #14
 

Woosh

Juniors
Messages
728
Knights coach Adam O'Brien goes one-on-one with Barry Toohey about the start of pre-season training and his side's NRL prospects in 2022. BT: The biggest off-season talking point has been the departure of Mitchell Pearce. Have you come to terms with him leaving? AO: I knew talking to him it was the right thing for us and him. Once we spoke face-to-face and I could tell how much the season got to him, I knew. BT: Did you try to talk him out of leaving? AO: He actually said to me, look, if you don't want me to go, I'll realign my thinking and I'll be able to get on board and just get on with it. But I just reckoned three months in, it would have been too hard. I'm comfortable. In the end, I think it was the right time for him and us. BT: It does leave you in a bit of a hole though now doesn't it? AO: Phoenix [Crossland] and Adam Clune can't do anymore than they are doing. Phoenix is a completely different kid. It started in camp on the Sunshine Coast with the responsibilities we gave him running the opposition in opposed sessions at training. He has grown up a lot in 12 months. I like his physicality. Probably what I want to see from him is a little less structure. It takes experience but I want to see him open up a little bit. But in terms of execution of skill, his size and toughness, he's got all of that. BT: ....and Clune? AO: The first impressions of him have been outstanding, just with his fitness and his speed. Joey even said to me, 'he's a better footballer than I thought he was'. So I'm pleased we've got depth in our halves. There is no doubt if you get injuries in your spine, it is very difficult to consistently win. BT: What about Luke Brooks. Is he potentially still an option? AO: I have no idea. I'm not talking about that. You know I don't talk about recruitment. BT: Another talking point has been Kalyn Ponga and his future. What are your thoughts? AO: I can't fault him, he's been great. He trained hard on his own before coming back in and some of his times have been exceptional. There is a fire in his guts - he's got a burning desire to win. I've met with him a few times now and he's as focused and determined as I've ever seen him. He's healthy too, we finally get him for a summer. It's the first time I've had him fit and healthy for a summer since I've been here. BT: But what about the speculation linking him to Redcliffe? AO: I'm really confident he wants to be here and if he really wants to win [a premiership] in this day and age, I think it's highly unlikely Redcliffe are going to be able to do it in their first, say five years anyway. Like I said, the feeling I get from him he is as focused as ever, personally and with us as a team. BT: Andrew Johns' return in a consulting capacity was a coup. I know you have had feelers out for Joey for quite some time. How did you get his signing over the line? AO: Bedsy had approached him a few times to sound him out and we called him to see about having a chat. He came up, we sat down and went through some video. I showed him what I was seeing and what I thought we could do and he showed me his stuff and got excited about it. Then he let Parra know he was coming. BT: What are your impressions of him so far? AO: He's been exceptional. It's not just with the senior squad but the academy as well. You always learn something when he is here and that's not just the players, it's staff as well. He's been really meticulous in his planning which has impressed me, as have his ideas. BT: You have a lot of new staff, particularly in the performance and medical area with injuries a big factor over the past couple of seasons. How has that transition been? AO: We've made some changes and brought in a lot of premiership-winning experience so I feel more confident about it. I feel like we are well organised across the board and we've got a lot more bases covered. Hayden [Knowles, high performance boss] is obviously a big one for us because of that experience and his role will encompass coaching as well as the performance areas. BT: What have you got planned for your maligned attack. Will Pearce leaving significantly change things? AO: The way we have designed how we want to attack going forward with the coaches, we are not going to rely on a real figurehead No.7. We'll be looking for a bit more from Brails, certainly a lot more from Kalyn, we'll be looking to share it more with Junior not there. We are looking at Kurt and Simi sharing the 13 role and giving us another half option that doesn't rely as much on a dominant 7. BT: So Kurt will be your Victor Radley or Isaah Yeo-type player at first receiver? AO: Yeah, that's the plan with Simi coming off the bench and playing a role there as well as a 14. But we'll also look at maybe Phoenix playing that role also if he is not a 6 or 7. I want it to be an adjustable player for our half. We definitely have some good depth there with Kurt and Randy [Chris Randall] being able to play 13 and 9 if needed. BT: Will that be the big attacking change next season? AO: That and an overall change of mindset about our willingness just to throw more footy at the opposition. That will be a focus. I think we put plenty of pressure on our defence at times last season simply because we didn't do enough with the footy in attack. BT: Statistically, your attack was the second worse in the comp. You are obviously committed to changing that? AO: I put Joey Johns on staff. That's a sign that I'm willing to really commit to our attack. We'll spend a lot more time on it. But in saying that, I'm not going to compromise on where we need to get to with our defence either. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we are a long way off having that part of the game ingrained and I won't be satisfied until it's entrenched in our DNA. BT: If you were to single out a couple of young guys who have impressed in the first few weeks of the pre-season, who would they be? AO: Dom [Young]. It's like his twin brother is now here. To be fair, it was all new to him last year but he's like a new player now. He's been leading some of the fitness stuff, his aggression in the wrestle sessions has been right up there - he's just stood out. The other one would be Phoenix and young [Bailey] Hodgson too but in reality, I've been happy with quite a few. BT: Depth may not be as a big an issue then? AO: No, I think we'll have some good depth. We'll have some real good competition for spots which is what you need. BT: Finally, what about your expectations? AO: We won't be content with finishing seventh and falling out in week 1, I can tell you that. I honestly believe top four is well within our capabilities but at the moment, it's a pipe-dream. We need to make it happen.
 

Knight Tales

Juniors
Messages
720
From AOB's interview with Toohey in the Herald it sounds pretty set in stone that Mann will be the lock and Simi will be #14
The club are long overdue for our own breakout star who performs better with each week. Hopefully Simi is that player and the whole KP issue can be less of a burden should he leave. AOB sounds far more convinced of his abilities and his team in that interview. Having the greatest player in history as his attacking guru can do that.
 

Yosh

First Grade
Messages
9,137
Looks like we are moving away from the bulky battle ram style of football and transforming into a more modern outfit. Lighter forward pack and sharing the attacking output instead of having a couple of primary playmakers. Sounds great but, as always, worried because I support the Knights.
 

Woosh

Juniors
Messages
728
Bradman Best has packed a real punch for the Newcastle Knights as a specialist left centre ever since breaking into the NRL at the end of 2019. And it will be no different next season despite the return to the club of experienced Queensland Origin star Dane Gagai. Gagai spent last season camped on South Sydney's left edge, forming a lethal partnership with the NRL's leading try-scorer, winger Alex Johnston. But according to coach Adam O'Brien, there won't be an issue between the pair in 2023 with Gagai prepared to swap sides. "Braddie will be on the left with Gags on the right," O'Brien said. "Gags played last season on the left for Souths but he has played a lot of right centre during his career and is comfortable either side." Not surprisingly, 20-year-old Best was prepared to give up his favoured side if need be to accommodate Gagai. "I don't get to make the call - that'll be up to Gags," Best said when asked where he'll be playing next season. "I've always played on the left but if he wants to play that side, I'll be moving." Meanwhile, Best is hopeful he can put a frustrating run with injuries over the past few seasons behind him and be a more consistent force in 2023. He has been plagued by foot and ankle problems that restricted him to 28 games from a possible 47 over the past two seasons. He was forced to undergo surgery on his thumb in the off-season but it didn't impact pre-season training with the powerhouse centre training with the aid of a boxing glove for a number of weeks to protect the injury. "He didn't really miss a beat Braddie despite the boxing glove," O'Brien said. "He even mastered the Gidley flick with the glove on just to emphasise just how skillful he is. "Other then his thumb, there have been no other issues with him so fingers crossed he can get a bit of luck on the injury front going forward. He and Gags will give us plenty of strike in the centres."

 

Yosh

First Grade
Messages
9,137
Bradman will likely be injured half the season so probably Gags will play there a lot anyway.
 

Yosh

First Grade
Messages
9,137
I would also have Tuala on the left wing first. Best and Gags will definitely be our starting centres. Hunt has been our best outside back for years so he gets the right wing spot.

Looks like Young and Lee will out a lot of pressure on the starting lads which is great.
 

Frederick

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
27,008
Round 1?

1. Ponga
2. Lee/Young/Tuala
3. Best
4. Gagai
5. Hunt
6. Clifford
7. Clune
8. DSaf
9. Randall
10. JSaf
11. Frizell
12. Barnett
13. Mann

14. Crossland
15. Klemmer
16. Sue
17. Fitzgibbon
 
Messages
616
Yes its from 2019 and yes its NSWCup but im prepared to say Clune has a better right to left cut out than Ponga :p

Seriously though, Clune looks good at both 1st and 2nd receiver here. Im cautiously optimistic about him being a good value signing for us

 

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