While the nib Newcastle Knights have had a lot of hype surrounding their new look side, behind the scenes the Club’s Reserve Grade squad is shaping up to be something special in 2018.
With a number of players having NRL experience and a Fijian international on board, the second squad is looking to continue their strong run from 2017.
Last weekend, ISP recorded a draw against the Wentworthville Magpies in their trial match at Maitland.
Nick Meaney was in the number one jersey and feels overall, they did pretty well.
“We had a large squad, about 27 players, so I think we did well,” Meaney said.
“We connected really well with Lamby (Brock Lamb) and Coggs (Jack Cogger) in the halves, they do a great job.
“We got a draw but it’s a trial and we’ll get better from there.”
Meaney admits the competition for spots in Reserve Grade is proving just as difficult.
“There’s a lot of boys trying to push up for that spot, just like first grade,” explained Meaney.
“There’s a lot of boys trying to push up and get that position, so it’s definitely challenging, and it pushes you to be better.”
Named the Club’s Reserve Grade player of the year in 2017, Meaney had the fullback position locked down for the season and is continuing his hard work to again make sure that’s the case in 2018.
“Definitely to keep that fullback spot for Reserve Grad and hopefully keep playing there all year,” added Meaney.
“Even at the end of the year, I also want to try and get a look in to first grade on the wing or wherever but see how I go.”
Training with the NRL squad this pre-season, the athletic 20-year-old maintains he’s loved the challenge and the guidance from experienced heads.
“It’s a long pre-season, about four months or so, we’re definitely ready to go now and can’t wait to start,” stated the Knights fullback.
“There’s a lot of boys that have first grade experience and it will help us younger boys to get better so very excited for the season.
“There haven’t been too many injuries in this off-season which has been good, and everyone is in tip-top shape to start playing footy.”