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Discussion in 'Knights Signings, Rumours & Player Movement' started by slotmachine, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Still_Nutty

    Still_Nutty Kade Snowden

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    https://www.theherald.com.au/story/...d-near-misses-that-haunt-the-knights/?cs=7580

    How Sydney Roosters grand final heroes Boyd Cordner and Latrell Mitchell and several other NRL stars were lost to the Knights



    Every NRL club has them. The hard luck stories when it comes to recruitment and retention.

    Back in 1991, the Newcastle Knights signed an 18-year-old kid from Wellington, New Zealand who lasted just three weeks before he was floored by home-sickness. He was reluctantly released.

    It’s now history that Tana Umaga went on to become an All Black legend and one of World rugby’s greatest ever centres.

    Almost two decades later, the Knights narrowly missed out on signing another Kiwi, this one a young tearaway prop from Manly who instead linked with the Sydney Roosters.

    To this day, club officials involved in the negotiations believe an extra $10,000 may have been all that was needed to get the signature of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves over the line.

    There are bucketfuls of other such near misses.

    But then there are the players that got away or were let go that went on to achieve great things elsewhere.

    With a nursery the size of Newcastle and the Hunter and the amount of money being spent on development, there has been no shortage of really good kids coming through the system.

    The secret is in the identification and knowing which ones to keep.

    Because, as one Knights official told us last week, given the money in the game and the fact only a handful of NRL clubs throw big resources at junior development, “we can’t expect to keep them all”.

    Newcastle hasn’t always got it right in that department.

    Money has been a major issue in the past but there has also been some poor recruiting decisions made that continue to haunt the club.

    Here is a snapshot of the club’s big recruitment and retention blunders and why some big names who could have become Knights stars are either kicking goals at rival clubs or have in the past.

    Latrell Mitchell

    It may well go down as the biggest blunder in Knights recruitment history.

    The Sydney Roosters star and soon-to-be Kangaroos centre from Taree trailed with the Knights’ Harold Matthews Cup side when he was 15 back in 2012.

    He had already been in the club’s Chargers development squad but was inexplicably overlooked despite “trialing terrific”.

    He ended up playing juniors on the Central Coast before being spotted by the Roosters.

    “I was 15 but they had Brocky Lamb and I was up against him for the five-eighth spot,” Mitchell recalls.

    “They didn’t pick me. Every time I go up to Newcastle, I think about it. It fires me up. I just love beating them.”

    It was Wayne Bennett’s first year as head coach and Keith Onslow was on his way out as head of junior recruitment but he clearly remembers the trials.

    “He trialed terrific in a number of positions but for whatever reason, wasn’t chosen,” Onslow said.

    Boyd Cordner

    The Sydney Roosters premiership-winning co-captain, ironically another Taree boy, played for two seasons with the Knights in the club’s Harold Matthews side.

    But then the big spending Roosters came knocking.

    Their recruitment boss at the time, Peter O’Sullivan believed Cordner was one of the best players in the game in his age group.

    When it came time to sit down and talk money with Cordner's father Chris, the Knights knew they weren’t going to be in the Roosters’ ball-park.

    “I remember sitting down with Chris at Wests Leagues Club and he showed me the Roosters’ three year offer. It was massive,”Onslow said.

    Onslow did not reveal the figures but it’s understood Cordner’s Roosters offer was worth around $320,000 all up, a whooping $180,000 more than the Knights could come up with.

    “Financially back then, the club struggled to compete,” Onslow said.

    Josh Jackson

    It was the current Canterbury Bulldogs skipper’s body shape and not money that cost the Knights his signature back in 2010.

    Jackson moved to Newcastle with his parents Paul and Judy from Gulgong [near Mudgee] in 2007 to attend Newcastle university to begin a sports science degree.

    He played S G Ball for the Knights in 2009 but his cards were marked by then top grade coach Brian Smith.

    At the time, Smith’s recruitment philosophy centred around signing big, fast, athletic backrowers and was importing plenty of youngsters from New Zealand to fill the junior ranks.

    Jackson didn’t fit the mould and when Bulldogs recruitment boss Peter Mulholland showed interest, he picked up Jackson “for a song”.

    In his first season at the Bulldogs, he was their Under 20’s player of the year and went on to represent the Junior Kangaroos.

    He has now played 152 NRL games for the Bulldogs and featured in nine Origin games for NSW and two Tests for Australia.

    Not bad for a kid considered too small to make it.

    Willie Mason

    A giant of a man and a giant recruitment mistake.

    While he would eventually get to wear his home town’s jumper at the back end of his career, how the tearaway Toronto forward was missed by the Knights when his career was kicking off is a mystery.

    To make matters worse, the Knights ignored him not once but twice before he was forced to move to Sydney to further his career.

    After missing junior selection for the Knights, Mason ended up signing for the Hunter Mariners in the Super League when he was 17.

    But after the war ended and the breakaway competition folded at the end of 1997, the Knights, who were coming off a top grade ARL grand final triumph over Manly, had first crack at the Mariners players.

    Mason was again overlooked and despite hating the thought of moving to Sydney, signed with the Bulldogs for 1998 and made his NRL debut two years later.

    He won the Clive Churchill Medal for the player of the match in his side’s 2004 grand final win over the Sydney Roosters and finished his career with stints at the Roosters, Manly and North Queensland.

    In all, he played 24 Tests and 13 Origin games.

    Anthony Tupou

    Tupou was another player the Knights lost because of the big dollars on offer elsewhere and again it was the Roosters who did the poaching.

    The backrower, who was schooled at Francis Xavier College, was in the Knights’ system when he helped NSW Under 19’s knock over Queensland back in 2002.

    He was a self-confessed over-weight forward and lacked discipline at the time but then Roosters coach Ricky Stuart and chief recruiter Artie Beetson watched him closely in the rep game and wanted him badly.

    Former Knights chairman Michael Hill remembers losing Tupou.

    “He was one of our best juniors but we couldn’t get near the Roosters three year deal so we lost him,” Hill said.


    Luke Burt

    Redhead surfer who was a Valentine junior and played Harold Matthews Cup for the Knights in 1997.

    He played Australian Schoolboys the following year but by the time he did, he was already on the books of the Parramatta Eels.

    Eels recruitment boss Noel Cleal had seen him play at a schoolboy carnival in Perth and signed him for the 1998 season, right from under the noses of the Knights.

    Burt even remained in Newcastle to finish school in 08 with his father Dave driving him to Sydney a few times a week for training and games.

    He scored 24 tries in S G Ball in his first season for the club.

    Burt debuted for the Eels at the age of 17 and nine months in the opening game of the 1999 NRL season in front of 104,583 fans at the opening of the Olympic Stadium.

    He went on to have a great career, playing 264 NRL games for Parramatta over 14 seasons.

    Greg Inglis

    The Knights can justifiably be accused of letting some big name players slip through the net over the years but Inglis isn’t one of them.

    It is a myth the club erred in not signing him when he spent time at Hunter Sports High back in 2002.

    Fact is Melbourne Storm already had him under contract when he was sent to Newcastle to attend high school by his parents.

    The Storm recruitment boss Peter O’Sullivan had already scouted the young Kempsey-born Inglis, seeing him play for Group 2 in a junior representative game in Smithtown the previous year when he was still only 14.

    Inglis played for Hunter Sports in the Arrive Alive Cup before he was sent to Brisbane to attend Wavell High before linking with the Storm in 2005.
     
  2. Billy

    Billy Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Greg Bird is the other one always mentioned - but no one mentions guys like Robbie Rochow, Jermaine Ale, Jamayne Wilson, Paul Franze, Callan Richardson, Chris Knight, the Fridge (can't think of his name - but he was a Carlsen medal winning prop who went to the Bulldogs and won a reserve grade premiership) - all those guys were boom youngsters who were lured away for big money - most of them won under 20s titles or reserve grade titles with their new clubs - but all failed to kick on.

    Callan Richardson was probably the biggest paid guy ever poached from us, and I think he ended up winning 3 reserve grade titles with Parra, but injury kept him out of firstgrade for his whole career. I think he is still going around in the real NRL.

    I'd say for every player who went from us for big money and made it, there would be 3 or 4 who didn't.

    The latest guy to be poached - Jock Madden - won the award for the best player in under 18s comp this year and has been selected for Australian schoolboys, and he is a wonderful little player, but he would be about 5'5" and 60 or 65kgs - so it's anyone guess if he will kick on. Wests have given him one of their 6 development contracts - and we have given one to his NSW halves partner, Phoenix Crossland, who is much bigger and nearly as talented a playmaker.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  3. R_A

    R_A Darren Albert

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    People will always point out the ones they missed but what about all the ones the club overlooked and never made it? There is such a small margin for error in this market so of course there are going to be times when the club (every club) won't get it right. But if those guys only turned out to be ok, then no one would point it out. Dumb article really.

    Also I never realised we were blown out of the water by the Roosters (for Cordner) for that much money, always knew it was a lot, but not that much.

    I remember we had to fork out 40-50k to keep Snowden because teams like the Roosters were offering that much when they were maybe on a few thousand, but sheesh!
     
  4. Joel

    Joel Touche...

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    It's the off season so what else is there to talk about? We're fitter by 13.333%? Mullen's time to shine? Hell anything from this man is gold at this time of the year.
     
  5. R_A

    R_A Darren Albert

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    Fair, but this is probably the 50th time the Boyd Cordner story has been published. And Latrell has been getting up there since he broke out. That's all haha

    I'd rather read about the latest gossip on who the Eels will make the scapegoat for their poor season and how long it will take them to realise it is Hayne!!
     
  6. Still_Nutty

    Still_Nutty Kade Snowden

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    R_A in 'Toohey News' I think most of he content has a strong Blue and Red, not Blue and Yellow focus mate:D....and I actually didn't know about Tana Umaga, that was a revelation for me
     
  7. R_A

    R_A Darren Albert

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    I see where you're coming from but that little bit on the Eels that I said was a bit of a tongue in cheek comment from mine. I enjoy reading Knights news and talk as much as anyone does on here but when it's been repeated for the 50th time or so it kind of gets old and doesn't really interest me. Baz should stick to just reporting on player movements involving the Knights or ones that could affect the Knights.
     
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  8. krustykraz

    krustykraz Russell Wyer

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  9. Defender1

    Defender1 Steve Simpson

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  10. packo

    packo :) (:

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    Ayoub seemed fairly upset about it. I wouldn’t pay more than 180k
     
  11. Matty23

    Matty23 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    To be fair, I’d rather keep Ross over Sio. Let’s hope this is the kick up the arse Rossy needs to keep his place at the club. Denniss will be lucky to get offers from ISP teams let alone NRL.
     
  12. member 2299

    member 2299 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Terms like 'pathetic' and '****ty' sure make it sound like Ken needs a new manager. Not the way to influence anyone you hope to deal with.
     
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  13. Lord of the Skraelings

    Lord of the Skraelings Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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  14. Lord of the Skraelings

    Lord of the Skraelings Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Sio all day for me.
     
  15. Lefty

    Lefty Chris Joynt

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    Me too


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. Ethan

    Ethan Mark Hughes

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    Well it looks like Sio is gone too after the ****ty contract he was offered apparently … His manager bags the knights for the ****ty offer but the only teams looking to sign him are superleague sides said nothing about an NRL team wanting him or Ross ...Personally I wont miss Sio or Ross
     
  17. Kurriboy

    Kurriboy Clint Newton

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    One will probably go and one stay. Both are about equal to the other but as much as I like Ross, I'd be going with Sio. He is more consistent and reliable, can goal kick.

    The manager will be looking at Sio's market value, if he is getting interest from super league their contract value will be used against what the Knights are offering.

    We are in the unfortunate situation of rebuilding the club with players that in a fully NRL standard team, would not be in first grade, yet due to this players like Sio, Denniss, Lamb etc see a lot of NRL and therefore their managers expect higher contract values for them. They are probably getting the contract they should be offered though, just their manager is doing what they should be doing. Not sure the language being used is helpful though.

    Can't argue with Ayoub's logic though, we won't be replacing him in our roster, with someone better for the money he would be on so it is really a no brainer. Interesting though that he said we offered him basically half what his previous contract was for, yet if we offered 20-30k more he would sign.

    I'd be comfortable with a two year deal, he can't be on much you wouldn't think and with our roster at the moment, either Ross or Sio will see some time at NRL still.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  18. Billy

    Billy Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Sio and Edrick Lee are worth about the same.
    I think i'd prefer Sio, but we don't need both.
     
  19. Joshhh

    Joshhh OnARampageFuelledByGod

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    Apparently halved his contract for the new offer so it is pathetic, from Sio & his manager's perspective. But we're in the business of looking out for ourselves & he's probably worth minimum wage to us as injury cover that hopefully won't see too many NRL games. We signed him as a top 17 player & that's changed now. So if you can get more elsewhere, good luck to you & we'll hopefully keep paying NRL players NRL money & reserve graders reserve grade money.
     
  20. Kurriboy

    Kurriboy Clint Newton

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    From what I see next year, we have SKD and Ramien as centres, Lee on one wing, Sione already been said he won't be centre next year.

    Ross is contracted already and if he secures the other wing spot, that leaves us fairly short for injury cover on the wing. Denniss not looking likely at the moment to be re-signed either. I thought the idea was to have players competing for position and not just get their jumper given to them every week out of default.

    Who am I missing here that is NRL ready replacement for Centre/Wing that we have sitting in reserves?

    We would be stupid not to sign Sio for next year and probably year after as injury cover, Ross cover if he struggles for form.
     

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