Garth Brennan


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Great appointment.
He has coached in the real NRL.
He played for Newcastle Wests.
He coached winning sides in our juniors from under 16s to under 20s.
He won titles in under 20s and reserve grade at Penrith and developed many of their current stars.
He even put in a good development system at the Titans.

I suspected this was on the cards when we signed his good friend Knowles out of the blue.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
In the Toohey podcast with Garth Brennan he talked about learning a lesson his first year at Penrith when Souths used a lot of their juniors in reserve grade all year and dropped them back to under 20s for the finals and in Brennan's words "it was men against boys" in the GF that year, after Penrith had won the minor premiership.
After that, he used guys in reserve as soon as they were physically ready.
I suspect most sides do that now - we certainly do for the last 3 years.

The other bit of news out of the article is that Brennan will appoint the junior coaches for 17s, 19s, 21s, NSW cup and the women's comps.
Mark O'Meley will be in there somewhere, and Blake Green will have a role as halves coach, but he could pull others from anywhere.


Andrew 'Joey' Johns
I'm happy with this. I've loved Garth for a long time coaching wise. May be a bit bias though.......


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Staff member
That’s brilliant news, he was really impressive a few months ago in the podcast Billy mentions.


Shane Vincent
Yeah I'm seeing some people making fun of it because he didn't do that great as a head coach, but head coaching in the NRL is not for everyone. He's proven as a pathways guy. Another good appointment.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
He got burned at the Titans by putting faith in his panthers juniors. Gave big money to blokes like peachey and cartwright and they phoned it in.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
Titans say themselves that Brennan transformed their junior pathways when he was there.
They ended his career by sacking him mid contract as a rookie coach, meaning no one else would give him a shot, but I don't think they were really unhappy with him - they were just impatient for success and wanted to try another way.


Todd Bates
I'm not overly familiar with the Titans, and I know they recruited heavily over the past few years, but they have some good juniors coming through in Joliffe, Fotuaika, Sexton, Brimson, Jayden Campbell and Marzhew (to name the ones I can think of). I don't know how much Brennan had to do with all that though.


Cameron Ciraldo
I'm not overly familiar with the Titans, and I know they recruited heavily over the past few years, but they have some good juniors coming through in Joliffe, Fotuaika, Sexton, Brimson, Jayden Campbell and Marzhew (to name the ones I can think of). I don't know how much Brennan had to do with all that though.
He was there from the end of 2017 til mid 2019 as head coach so I guess that timeline matches to when those players were developing.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
The other plus with having Brennan in charge of reserve grade, and therefore the part time squad, is that he has had a lot of talented players in his squads over the years who would be happy to play for him again.
When he went to Penrith from here he had guys like Will Smith and Chris Knight follow him and when he went to the Titans he had Penrith players and even a few old Knights like Dylan Pythian ask him for a trial.
I expect he will attract some ambitious young coaches and some keen young players who haven't got a shot at either the Panthers or the Titans.

I remember going to a trial game between Penrith under 20s and Knights under 20s and we put a strong team on the field to start the game, and the Penrith team ran in about 6 tries in the first half. I was thinking their top squad was a lot better than ours, but it soon became clear that we were getting smashed by their second squad, and it really got ugly when we put on our seconds and they ran out the big boys.

Brennan will know a lot of guys like Brent Naden who couldn't get a run in the Penrith seniors (first time around), but still have massive potential.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

The nib Newcastle Knights are delighted to confirm the appointment of Garth Brennan as the Club’s new Head of Pathways.

A born and bred Novocastrian, Brennan will begin work at the Knights in time for the commencement of the 2022 pre-season with an unmatched skillset and knowledge of the system he will oversee.

A former NRL Head Coach, the 49-year-old spent 12 years in the Knights development system, holding coaching roles in the Harold Matthews, Jersey Flegg, NYC and NSW Cup teams from 2003-2015.

The appointment will allow Brennan to oversee all elite Knights pathways, from the grassroots all the way up to both the NRL and NRLW teams.

Knights CEO, Mr Philip Gardner, said Brennan’s return to the Club marked a crucial milestone in the development of first-class pathways for junior talent across the Knights’ expansive catchment area.

“Garth has a proven record in the junior development space, having played a key role in the careers of some of the best players in our game,” Mr Gardner said.

“Garth will be a tremendous asset for the Club moving forward and we can’t wait to have him join the team.”

A former Knights junior himself, Brennan was a well-respected fullback for Wests Newcastle in the local competition before entering into coaching.

Post his playing days, Brennan has spent his career developing and nurturing some of the game’s best talent across the Hunter, Sydney and South-East Queensland.

Ahead of his imminent return to the Knights, Brennan said he was looking forward to again working with one of the most dynamic junior systems in the country.

“I can’t wait to get involved and I’m really looking forward to the challenge this role presents,” Brennan said.

“The Club at the moment is filled with quality people, including Adam O’Brien, Danny Buderus, Alex McKinnon and Head of Performance Hayden Knowles. The chance to work alongside them, as well as the Wests Group, is one I just couldn’t refuse.

“For my entire career I’ve been really passionate about strengthening junior development and pathways programs, which has been some of the most enjoyable and rewarding work of my life so far.

“Newcastle is my home, and I want every young player in the region to see a direct opportunity and pathway to play for their hometown Club.

“I firmly believe in building from within and that representing your hometown in front of friends and family is incredibly meaningful for these local juniors.

“My proudest achievement in coaching has been making a difference in the lives of these young players, so when this opportunity came up, I just couldn’t say no.”


Mark Hughes
Good to see the club is focusing on junior development.
Knights need a good portion of local juniors in the team to be a premiership threat IMO.
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It's a real shame about the lack of competition for developing players all across the country the last 2 years. Just compounds what's already been happening with clubs not developing, no reserve grade.

We talk about a lack of depth, there are talented players in every competition out there, they just need be playing each other week in week out across 16 teams, only the cream of the crop. The standard will rise. It will probably cost a lot of money to do, but at the moment we have players playing in weaker competitions that are essentially local league with some NRL players sprinkled throughout & the standard of player will continue to suffer because of it.


Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus
If I were him, I'd be tempted to coach the reserve grade side myself.
Don't see why he couldn't.