Posted: 1 November, 2016 by AAP

Knights Eye More NRL Signings For 2017

Tags: Newcastle Knights

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown is optimistic the back-to-back NRL wooden spooners can bolster their squad with several more players before the 2017 campaign kicks off.

The Knights are favourites to finish last for the third successive season after adding only Jamie Buhrer (Manly), Rory Kostjasyn (North Queensland) and Ken Sio (Hull KR) to the roster who managed just one win in 2016.

buhrer

The Knights insist they have a cash stockpile waiting to be spent on the right players, and further funds could become available if they are successful in finding new clubs for Jack Stockwell and Jake Mamo.

"I think in the NRL, nearly anything is possible these days,'' Brown said.

"We saw Michael Jennings move (from the Sydney Roosters to Parramatta) in early December last year. If you believe what you hear, there's a number of clubs under salary-cap pressure and different clubs are trying to move different players for different reasons ... you just don't know who becomes available this year.

"But I do know if you've got money, you're always a chance. If you don't have money, you're no chance.''

Since Brown's arrival in Newcastle 12 months ago, numerous players have parted company with the club, including Chris Houston (Widnes), Adam Clydsdale and Joe Tapine (Canberra), Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra), Robbie Rochow (South Sydney), Akuila Uate (Manly) and Jeremy Smith (retired).

As well as their three recruits for 2017, they picked up fringe first-graders Pauli Pauli (Parramatta), Brendan Elliot (Roosters) and Mitch Barnett (Canberra) last season.

Brown predicted there would "still be a fair bit of movement" in the market in coming weeks, as clubs juggled their rosters and players eyed greener pastures.

"We've still got a decent amount of money,'' Brown said. "It just depends what comes up. We've just added Ken Sio, who helps our outside backs.

"We'd definitely like to bring another outside back in. We like to bring in a middle-type player and an edge-type player.

"I'd say we'd like to bring in another three players, if that was possible. Whether that's possible, we'll have to wait and see.''

The Knights kicked off pre-season training on Tuesday with fitness testing and Brown said they were "in a little bit of a better position than we were this time last year''.

"The younger guys are more aware of what first grade is about, having played a fair number of games last year and having their first pre-season,'' he said.

"There's definitely a lot of those guys in a position to have a better pre-season and improve on that.''

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Tags: Newcastle Knights

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