Knights legend tips big season ahead
RUGBY LEAGUE: In what was music to the ears of Clarence Valley's long-struggling Newcastle Knights fans, Danny Buderus has tipped the club to have a major turn of fortunes in 2019.
Speaking with 2GF presenter Richie Williamson and The Daily Examiner sports editor Matthew Elkerton as part of their new weekly program Sideline Spray, the Knights legend was quick to praise the fortitude of coach Nathan Brown.
"It is a big year for the club, this is the time now for Nathan,” Buderus said.
"This is the year where he feels like he has a team that can really do things for him. It has been a tough rebuild for Nathan, he has had to be patient and understanding of where he was going.
"There is plenty of opportunity for people to alter their course, to aim for quick results, but Nathan stuck firm and with that a few things can drop.”
Buderus, who played more than 250 games for the Newcastle club, said the arrival of superstar player Kalyn Ponga was a catalyst for the club's improvement.
"Kalyn Ponga has now come to the club, and he is the kind of player that everyone wants to play alongside,” he said.
"On the back of that, Tim Glasby and James Gavet have come to the club and now we have just picked up David Klemmer. It makes for a really exciting year.”
Buderus is in the northern inland town of Armidale as part of a NSW Blues State of Origin pre-season camp.
More than 30 of the state's most promising players are part of the weekend trip which will include meet and greets and skills clinics with local juniors.
"It is highly important for everyone involved at NSW,” he said. "It is not just about that hub around Sydney and Newcastle; we really want to get out and give back to our regional towns.”