BY CURTIS WOODWARD – EDITOR
With a 46-word statement tucked away on the Knights website, Nathan Brown’s time as head coach of Newcastle was officially over.
“The nib Newcastle Knights can confirm coach Nathan Brown has departed the Club effective immediately,” the statement read.
“This decision has been made in conjunction with Brown in the best interest of the Club.
“Kristian Woolf will take over as interim coach for the remainder of the 2019 season.”
Brown’s departure comes one week after the club announced Brown would not be returning to his role in 2020. Since then, the mail has grown stronger that there were other factors at play. Brown had been snipered. Many believe the Knights already have their new coach in current Roosters assistant Adam O’Brien locked up.
Some believe Brown has been a victim of a ‘whisper campaign’ to get him ousted.
The Daily Telegraph recently reported that Knights CEO Phil Gardner had met with other suitors behind Brown’s back. Gardner reportedly confirmed this to Brown when confronted.
It’s a strange time in Newcastle.
Stranger still if you’re watching from the outside.
Knights gun Kalyn Ponga, who has been woefully sub-par in recent outings, gave a weird reply when asked where he was when he found out Brown was getting axed.
“I was at lunch having a nice strawberry thickshake so I wasn’t too sad.”
Others have reported that none other than player manager Isaac Moses gains the most out of the Knights replacing Brown with O’Brien who is Moses’ client.
Another Moses ally is Knights recruitment manager Troy Pezet.
Brown reportedly went to Gardner a few months ago and wanted Pezet finished up.
All the while, Gardner and Pezet had been dealing with O’Brien and Moses.
But it gets better.
The right people will also tell you that the Knights want Ponga to switch managerial allegiances and work with Isaac Moses.
You can’t make this stuff up.
What can’t be forgotten is how far the Knights have come under Brown.
When he took over in 2016, Newcastle would have been lucky to beat some Ron Massey Cup sides. They were so far behind everyone else it wasn’t fair.
Perhaps Brown wasn’t the man to take the Knights to the next level.
But just remember where the Knights were when the backroom deals reportedly started. Newcastle had just smashed Brisbane on a Saturday night without Ponga. Prior to that, they’d also beaten the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney.
Then the slide began.
I’ll be at Henson Park on Saturday calling the Newtown Jets versus Newcastle clash for steelesports.com.au – kickoff from 3pm