BY STAFF WRITERS
Former Newcastle Knights halfback Trent Hodkinson has ripped ex-Newcastle coach Nathan Brown to shreds and blamed Brown for a ‘toxic culture’ at the Hunter club.
“The second year came around and I had one of the best pre-seasons I’d had, leading into that season,” Hodkinson told the The Horo-Scope podcast.
“Fittest I’ve ever felt. I lost a heap of weight, bunkered right down on my diet and everything.
“I started the year all right, and I think it might have been early in the season I got brought into the coach’s office and he said to me: ‘I want you to go back to [NSW Cup] and work on your confidence.’
“I was like: ‘Oh, OK’ … I think he felt the pressure and had to make a big call.
“Unfortunately for me, I took the fall for where we were at the time.”
“I thought I’d go back for a couple of weeks and get my confidence back, which I didn’t really agree with, but two weeks rolls around, nothing said.
“Four weeks, six weeks, didn’t hear a thing. Walked past each other, nothing was said. Ten weeks rolled around and I was just going: ‘What’s doing here?’
“In the meantime, there were certain things getting leaked to the media – the local media up there – that I wasn’t too happy about. I know for a fact that it was coming from him.
“After that 10 weeks rolled around, I said: ‘I’ve got to remove myself from this environment.
“It got quite toxic up there, with the ‘he said, she said’. It wasn’t a fun place to be around.
“So I started looking elsewhere, and got my manager to.
“I wanted to stay, but it got to the point where it had just gone on too long … it takes its toll on you.”