Knights hooker Adam Clydsdale admits he is intimidated by Newcastle's master coach Wayne Bennett although he has undoubtedly become a better player because of it.

Knights hooker learning from club legend

Adam Clydsdale is living his lifelong dream - learning and working with childhood hero and Newcastle Knights' recently-appointed assistant coach Danny Buderus.

At just 21 years of age, Clydsdale is the most experienced hooker at the Knights and has one hand on the club's number nine jumper, with captain Kurt Gidley signaling his intention to play fullback and Travis Waddell leaving the club.

The 23-game 'veteran' is favoured to be the Knights first-choice hooker over other contenders Danny Levi, Chad Redman and Tyler Randell.

Clydsdale isn't taking anything for granted though, especially with Newcastle's greatest ever hooker by his side.

"Throughout last season [Buderus] was around a couple of days a week but to have him around full-time now is a dream come true. Not only because of how good a player he was but because of the great person he is – he's just a legend," Clydsdale told NRL.com.

"This year [Buderus and I] have sort of talked about me having more of a running game – because I didn't run too much last season – so that's what it's all about in 2015, and then on top of that he's helping me with my kicking game too.

"2015 is potentially the season where I set the base for my career especially with Bedsy around, he's one of the best hookers that ever was, so being able to work with him only helps me."

Quick to compliment Clydsdale is Buderus himself, who said he loves working with the Scone Thoroughbreds junior.

However Buderus also realises his protégé needs to strengthen his game to match the expectations of a first grade hooker, pointing out that it's time for Clydsdale to develop. 

"The modern day hooker has to have the whole arsenal there at his disposal, Clydsy has them but as you move into grade I suppose you put them away a bit. You're just thinking you have to do your job and make tackles, and he has been doing that," Buderus told NRL.com. 

"But now it's time he evolves his game a little bit and all these aspects can hopefully bring a bit of variety to his game.

"Clydsy needs to learn the ability of getting out of dummy-half, much like Issac Luke does. Issac is obviously commanding and he poses a threat all the time, so we're looking at that for Clydsy. Adam has a really good passing game and he can also kick the ball so we need to bring those things out of him to make him confident that he can lead this team around."

With the former Australian captain by his side, Clydsdale has been making sure his fitness is up to scratch as he looks to eventually become an 80 minute hooker.

Heading into his second year of a three-year contract, Clydsdale however does not see the upcoming season as a make-or-break one.

"It is one of my big goals to play more minutes in the NRL and hopefully one day I can be an 80 minute hooker. That's what I'm working for and that's why I'm putting in all the hard yards I can right now," Clydsdale said.

"2015 is another year for me to gradually improve. I haven't thought to much about contracts or anything like that. I've just looked at this pre-season with an eye on building towards the next few years to come."

Not one to put the pressure on, Buderus is sure Clydsdale will give himself every opportunity to become the best player he possibly can be.

"He's such a level-headed kid," Buderus said. "He's always willing to learn and turns up to training with the right attitude and enthusiasm so Clydsy ticks all the boxes there."