Newcastle Knights prop David Klemmer has finally spoken about the possible late-season move to the Parramatta Eels that never eventuated, claiming he has no regrets about turning down the hurried offer despite the Eels' continuing finals run.
In an unsettled season in the Hunter, Klemmer’s commitment to the cause was brought into question following his on-field bust-up with trainer Hayden Knowles, with the Eels coming knocking during the fallout.
But despite the timing and the inarguable appeal of a finals campaign, Klemmer says that to have simply walked away from the Knights when things were proving difficult would be contrary to everything he’d worked for up until that point.
“Obviously you want to be in a position to make a grand final, but I trained really hard in the off-season to set myself up for this year,” Klemmer told the Newcastle Herald.
“I learnt from previous years that I want to keep growing as a player and a person. I didn’t want to just leave when the chips were down.”
Though a move to Western Sydney would have seen Klemmer suiting up for just the second preliminary final of his career this weekend, the 28-year-old would rather help his current club make their own way back to the top end of the table.
This is despite the fact his current deal ends after 2023, meaning he’ll receive competing offers from November 1 this year and may still ultimately leave.
“I want to be (in Newcastle) when the good times happen,” he said.
“I want to be someone who can help us get to the next level.”