GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Titans coach Garth Brennan looks on during the round 22 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Former Gold Coast Titans coach and recently appointed head of pathways at the Newcastle Knights Garth Brennan has refused to rule out opportunities for players on the wrong side of 21.

Experience, or a lack thereof, has been a sore point at times for the Newcastle Knights in recent times, and despite back-to-back finals appearances, a pair of Week 1 losses in those finals series have left the club looking for answers.

One of those answers was to bring in the extremely experienced Brennan to run the junior pathways at the club, working all the way from the under-16 Harold Matthews Cup level, all the way through to the Jersey Flegg and NRL teams.

Brennan has spent time in similar roles at the Knights previously, having coached the Jersey Flegg and Harold Matthews teams.

The 49-year-old however told the Newcastle Herald that he would have no hesitation in recommending players on the wrong side of 21 for higher honours if they were up to the task.

"There is a message there for any local guy playing in the Newcastle comp who is over 21 who still might have dreams and aspirations," Brennan said.

"I'd like our NSW Cup side to have some of those players in there - players who maybe haven't given up on it altogether.

"I want them to know that the dream is not necessarily out of reach and that there is still a pathway there for those players to get on the big stage or, in some instances, get back on the big stage."

While Brennan pointed to the example of Maika Sivo, who was 23 when playing in the third tier Ron Massey Cup, the Knights only need to look at their own example in hooker Chris Randall.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Chris Randall of the Knights is tackled by Isaah Yeo of the Panthers during the round three NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown Stadium on May 31, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

24 when he debuted at NRL level, Randall is only now set to move onto a top-30 deal in the 2022 season. He debuted for the Knights New South Wales Cup set up at the age of 22, but didn't become a focal figure there until the age of 23.

The Knights have a strong talent pool to select from, with the Hunter well known for producing some of the toughest players in the game, and with a difficult competition regularly compared to be on par with the competition in the Illawarra region, it's little surprise Brennan would scour it for later blooming players.