Official: Knights sign Connor Watson on a 3 year deal

Discussion in 'Knights Signings, Rumours & Player Movement' started by beau, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. Wobbles

    Wobbles Cameron Ciraldo

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    I couldn't agree more. As the results improve the momentum will increase in regards to strong and selective player attraction and retention.

    We've got a young spine which has a potentially very long future and a great crop of kids coming through to keep them honest.

    The Knights aren't juggernauts in the vein of the Storm, Broncos or Roosters, but why can't we be if we build around these key players and recruit with a long-term objective and succession plan?
    With the support of Wests we'll have the ability to spend our entire cap and make a number of fundamental improvements.
     
  2. Simon Templar

    Simon Templar Tony Kemp

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    There is no reason why this can't be the start of it , with the number of talented young proteges which are in the wings.

    You will notice that when ever the Storm bring in one of their Juniors they are conditioned to what is required within the existing structure , perhaps we need to establish these policies and procedures in the background so when they get their chance nothing is left to chance.

    The recent premature exposure for some of these talents have been of a "Sink or swim" nature by necessity rather than good planning.
     
  3. 88Knight4life

    88Knight4life Matthew Gidley

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    Brown did some time under the Storm system... he no doubt wants to bring that here... just needs the cattle in firsts to let the kids "EARN" the nrl jumper.
     
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  4. Knighted

    Knighted Cameron Ciraldo

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    Yeah, he's got that mentality. You can see it when he promoted Lamb (based on how well he trained) over Feeney and Cogger. And then dropped Hodkinson, Safiti, Feeney and then Lamb based on performance. He's not afraid to do it for non performance based reasons either i.e. Ross, when he spoke to the media about his contract. I thought that was a strong move, it shows the type of club he wants to build.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Billy

    Billy Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4829554/watson-eager-for-pivotal-role/?cs=306
    Interview with Watson about his role at the Knights.
    I'm warming to the idea of a running 5/8 being needed.

    At first it looked like we were spending money on a position we had well covered, but Brown wants a running half, and I can see how we need one, and the only two I can see in our juniors are Brendan O'Hagan and Tex Hoy, and neither are getting a run in under 20s this year - Tex might next year.
     
  6. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Watson opens up on Knights move


    Wed 02 Aug, 2017, 6:18pm
    By Martin Gabor, National Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com



    Roosters utility Connor Watson knew his chances of cementing a spot in the starting side next season were slim, so when the Knights offered him a three-year deal from 2018 onwards, he had no choice but to accept.

    ‌The 21-year-old has played a number of positions since making his NRL debut last season, and with his path seemingly blocked by a host of talented and more experienced teammates, Watson decided to head north where he will link up with fellow recruits Kalyn Ponga, Aidan Guerra and Tautau Moga.

    The constant speculation surrounding whether he would stay or join a rival club started to take its toll on Watson who was relieved to finally sort out his future.

    "I feel like it's been dragging on a bit for the past couple of months so it's been a bit of a distraction," he said on Wednesday morning.

    "There have obviously been a few rumours about it but it's good to get that done now and I can just focus on playing for the Roosters now and hopefully go out on a high before I leave.

    "I was actually alright with it, to be honest. I didn't worry about it too much. I just left it in my manager's hands; he did all the talking and the negotiations. My biggest role was just playing for the Roosters."

    The biggest kicker for the 21-year-old was the opportunity to play five-eighth next season, something Knights coach Nathan Brown confirmed would be the case in his post-match address following Newcastle's win over the Dragons.

    Watson's ability to play in the halves, at hooker, fullback or off the bench meant he was never able to lock down a position at the Roosters, but that shouldn't be an issue next season with the No.6 jersey his to lose.

    "I think it just came down to the position for me. There was another club interested and they were looking at playing me in a different spot so I think for me it just came down to what position I wanted to play and I see myself as being a five-eighth," Watson said.

    "At the Roosters, I actually haven't trained in the pre-season in one position so that's probably what I'm looking forward to the most is being able to go out there, train in one spot and try to improve as much as I can and be the best player that I can in that position."

    Speaking to NRL.com back in February ahead of the Auckland Nines, Watson said he was more than happy to play the utility role in 2017.

    However, following news that James Tedesco had signed, coupled with the stellar form of Luke Keary, Mitchell Pearce and Jake Friend in key positions, the former Junior Kangaroo realised his path to the starting side was blocked.

    Watson had some heart-to-heart chats with Roosters coach Trent Robinson about his future, with the pair agreeing that his best chance for a starting spot was elsewhere.

    "They (the conversations with Robinson) were hard because the club's been so good to me and I love it [here]. I made my debut here last year and it's such a great place and all the people here are good so that was the hardest thing," he continued.

    "The club has been so great to me for the last couple of years, but when we signed Tedesco [I realised that my path was blocked].

    "When I re-signed last year, me and Robbo spoke about playing the utility role this year and I told him that I was happy to play that this year but I wanted to be in a starting spot next year (2018).

    "I wanted to work into a position where I'd be starting next year and obviously with the new signings and the boys playing some great footy at the moment – Luke's playing really good, Mitchell's playing good and so is 'Friendy' – so it was hard for me to get in a position where I could start.

    "Those players have five or six years left in their careers so it's a long time for me and I thought the opportunity is here for me now to go and I think I had to take it if I see myself being a starting player in the future."

    Before he makes the move north, Watson's sole focus remains at Bondi where he hopes to be a part of the Roosters' first premiership since 2013.

    The pocket rocket has made the most of his opportunity at fullback in recent weeks with veteran Michael Gordon currently sidelined with a pec injury, but once the goal-kicking custodian returns, Watson is keen to return to his bench utility role; a spot he believes suits the way the squad is structured.

    "The last sort of month before Mick got injured, I was playing a bit of lock," he said.

    "It's hard with Friendy because he's an 80-minute player, so when you're in games, it's hard to take him off because you might break the rhythm a bit. With the eight interchanges it makes it hard because you can't just bring him back on when things go a bit AWOL.

    "Being able to put me on at lock has been good because I've just been playing as a roaming middle and it’s good because we've had a great forward pack who've been laying the platform for us."


    http://www.nrl.com/watson-opens-up-on-knights-move/tabid/10874/newsid/110640/default.aspx
     
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  7. Lefty

    Lefty David Fa'alogo

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  8. Joel

    Joel Touche...

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    After watching the Storm game I am deadset counting the days until he's in the red and blue. He'll kill it with his support play and running game, such a natural footballer. I wouldn't say we dodged a bullet with not getting Bird, but in hindsight am so stoked we missed out and saved around 400k in the process.
     
  9. 88Knight4life

    88Knight4life Matthew Gidley

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    Watson and Ponga could be a lethal combo in 12mths
     
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  10. The Artist Formerly Known as Aku'd

    The Artist Formerly Known as Aku'd Todd Anderson

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    He's pretty quick and looks to have a bit of fire in the belly!
     
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  11. Ven

    Ven George Mann

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    Watson was excellent at fullback against melbourne. Reminded me how good he is
     
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  12. 88Knight4life

    88Knight4life Matthew Gidley

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    His been good in every game his been a starter in,
    If u can watch a reply of his games in the halves.... his definitely a ball runner who plays of instinct, with Ponga on his heels in those moments we could see tries of greatness, although being young we will also see brain farts in those moments also.
     
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  13. Aidos

    Aidos Jarrod Mullen

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    Yep. He's shown to be just as good in the halves last year. A very good runner of the footy.
     
  14. Ven

    Ven George Mann

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    yep, and with lamb at 7, it's a very young spine so brain farts are to be expected, but personally i can live with that if we are winning some games and getting it right more and more as time goes on.
     
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  15. albert

    albert Brock Mueller

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    What I like about Watson game is he turns up attack and defence. Could be buy of the year IMO
     
  16. R_A

    R_A Todd Bates

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    It seems like the Knights won't be offering Feeney a new deal after landing Connor Watson which doesn't surprise me, he's drawn interest from the Tigers.
     
  17. Wobbles

    Wobbles Cameron Ciraldo

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    Can't keep everyone, but I wish him well. Maybe a couple of big games earlier on could have put him ahead of Watson as a target, guess we'll never know...
     
  18. member 2299

    member 2299 Andrew 'Joey' Johns

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    We know ~ Feeney had his chances and bombed real bad!
     
  19. R_A

    R_A Todd Bates

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    Its interesting how some of the guys from that NSW Cup winning team made a better transition to first grade while others didn't. I have to say we did a good job keeping the ones who have handled first grade well. Levi, Saifiti, Fitz, King.
    Feeney had a pretty skinny first grade resume compared to Mamo but I guess when you're entering the 2nd year of your rebuild (I dont really count 2016) and you need results sometimes there is a little less patience with players who don't develop as well.
    I hope he does well otherwise.
     
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  20. listo

    listo Jason Moodie

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    I would imagine Mamo would have had a skinny resume too if Brown was here earlier
     
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