NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Matt Gidley CEO of the Knights speaks to the media during a Newcastle Knights NRL press conference at Wests Mayfield on August 11, 2014 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

The Knights had identified former Gold Coast enforcer Greg Bird as their No.1 target for next season, but after he signed a huge deal to join the Catalans Dragons they are now proceeding with Plan B.

Newcastle have already signed Jamie Buhrer (Manly) and Rory Kostjacyn (North Queensland) but still have significant funds available and are hoping to add three or four new players before 2017 kicks off.

Newcastle CEO Matt Gidley said coach Nathan Brown and football manager Darren Mooney are considering a host of options, from minimum-wage rookies to top-tier representative stars.

“We haven’t put all our eggs in one basket,’’ Gidley said.

Most importantly, Gidley added, the Knights had to hold their nerve.

“We’re in a good position,’’ he said.

“We’ve got salary cap space and we just need to be patient until the right players become available.’’


  1. So to recap:
    Plan A: Try and sign Greg Bird
    Plan B: If Bird doesn’t want to sign, hope someone else comes along who does want to play for the Knights.

    Must have taken awhile to think of this grand plan.

    Knights should try and get Fensom from the Raiders to toughen up the middle of the ruck.

  2. Gidley is still the CEO………. presides over the clubs slide and yet they cant show him the door.
    Went from merchandise manager to CEO under Tinkler, shows they are not serious about the club.
    Get a CEO with business acumen and experience, this is just simple jobs for the old boys.

    • Oh and this is the board that voted Gidley in as CEO after Tinky boy left the Knights in tatters…
      Chairman Brian McGuigan AM – Director Global Vintners Pty Ltd
      John Quayle – Chairman of Venues NSW who is a former CEO of the Australian Rugby League
      Katie Brassil – General Manager of External Affairs at Centennial Coal
      Eileen Doyle – Director Newcastle Ports, Bradken, GPT and Boral, Chairman Hunter Valley Research Foundation
      Mark Fitzgibbon – CEO of NIB Health Funds
      Peter Shear – NRL advisor and former Lloyds Banking Group executive

      Quite a lot of experience on that board.

  3. 1. Zac Hardaker*
    2. Davis/Mamo
    3. Gagai
    4. S Matautia
    5. Elliot
    6. Marshall/Walsh* (sign 1)
    7. Hodkinson
    8. D Saifiti
    9. Kostjasyn
    10. Sims
    11. Barrett
    12. Tony Williams*
    13. Burher

    14. Levi
    15. J Saifiti
    16. Paul Vaughan*
    17. Pauli Pauli

  4. Knights need experience and some forwards who can tackle aswel as make good metres. The four forwards that come to mind are Paul Vaughn, Shaun Fensom, Ben Hannant and Chris Heighington. Not flashy huge name players, but ones that will do the job and leave it all on the field. The spine is the other problem area imo and I’d be chasing Zak Hardaker and Tui Lolohea. Let Mullen, Randell, Feeny and Cogger go.

    1. Zak Hardaker
    2. Sione Matautia
    3. Dane Gagai
    4. Nathan Ross
    5. Brendon Elliot
    6. Tui Lolohea
    7. Trent Hodkinson
    8. Paul Vaughn
    9. Rory Kostjayson
    10. Korbin Sims
    11. Jaime Buhrer
    12. Mitch Barnett
    13. Shaun Fensom

    14. Sam Mataora
    15. Ben Hannant
    16. Daniel Saifiti
    17. Chris Heighington

  5. Jake Mamo and Tyler Randall are possibly leaving. Will Smith rumoured to sign with Knights, Zak Hardaker would be a nice pickup with his versatility in the backs (or halves) if injury strikes or Smith isn’t capable. Judging from Mullens play at hooker in the final game last season, and the coaches comment on how well he played and the possibility of him playing their next season, he could very well start at hooker week 1. He is very well suited to the role, equip with a great passing game, an intelligent football mind, a great run ability, a strong boot, and he made nice tackle work in round 26. He could always move back to the halves if Cogger/Lamb struggle but judging from the young guns’ ability and potential they could take over the no.6 jersey next season, preseason will decide which one wins the job. If Tui Lolohea signs he would play the 6, no question. I strongly believe Elijah Taylor would be a great man to take over from Jeremy Smith, Taylor is a great tackler, hard runner, and very tough (much like Smith). I think the Knights signed Kostjayson to insert him into the line-up day dot but Dani Levi has shown great potential and could definitely challenge Kostjayson for the bench spot. Ben Hannant could be a nice buy, he has experience, a few more years of quality football still in him, but most of all he comes from a recent winning tradition (same with Kostjayson) and can hopefully assist our young players.

    1. Will Smith*/Zac Hardaker*
    2. Nathan Ross
    3. Dane Gagai
    4. Sione Mata’utia
    5. Brendan Elliot
    6. Jack Cogger/Brock Lamb/Tui Lolohea*
    7. Trent Hodkinson
    8. Daniel Saifiti
    9. Jarrod Mullen
    10. Korbin Sims
    11. Mitch Barnett
    12. Jamie Buhrer
    13. Elijah Taylor*

    14. Rory Kostjayson/Dani Levi
    15. Daniel Saifiti
    16. Sam Mataora
    17. Ben Hannant*

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