On what will be the 15th year after retiring from the game, Andrew Johns will return as a coaching member of the team he played 249 games for – 250 if we include the 2002 World Club Challenge – and featured in both of the Knights’ historic grand final wins.
For two days a week, Johns will be a halves and attack coach, as well as proceeding with his Channel Nine duties.
I’m absolutely thrilled with this.
Johns will be a great mentor to up-and-coming halves like Jake Clifford and Phoenix Crossland, and there are reports Kalyn Ponga is aiming to one day have another go at five-eighth. It may not have gone to plan in 2019 but with a bit more experience and Johns as a halves coach, the move could truly benefit Ponga’s game.
Johns could even teach players what the Newcastle Knights’ winning culture is all about – who better than a player who experienced it himself? Joey and Danny Buderus could team up with that lecture just like they teamed up as a halfback-hooker combination.
With the will to win, fighting games until the final siren, and such a great coaching staff building, the winning culture we once had looks set to be back and now the team’s duty is to own it. Turn Marathon into a fortress once again, a ground at which teams fear playing.
The “Newcastle” chant at home is something I could hear 1000 more times and never get bored of it, as 25,000 Knights fans cheering it loudly make it sound like 200,000.
Roarers, what benefits could the Knights get with Andrew Johns returning?