Knights assistant coach and club legend Danny Buderus believes developing the club's young guns rather than undergoing a huge recruitment drive is the key to the long-term success of the Newcastle club.
The Knights have kicked off their season with two horror defeats to the Titans and Rabbitohs – for a combined scoreline of 78-16 – something Buderus doesn't shy away from.
Drawing from the club's successes in 1997 when they upset the Sea Eagles in the ARL grand final, Buderus said a rebuild in a similar light to the one done in the early-90s is crucial for the club moving forward.
"When the Knights won the title in 1997, many of those guys had been signed through the early ’90s. They became a brotherhood. The current Knights are rebuilding in the same way, there is no question," Buderus says in the Round Three issue of Big League.
"The hardest part is in the interim. If the Knights can build well now, then the success in the long-term could be something special. You can see it starting to play out at Wests Tigers.
"For the clubs who don’t have financial clout, it’s their best bet to be competitive and then successful. The worst thing the Knights could do right now is to try and start again.
"If clubs try and buy new players, they very rarely stay on to build something. The Knights cannot afford to do that en masse. Patience and great coaching can lead the team out of a dark place, but impatience and constant change just puts you back."
In just his second full season in the NRL coaching ranks Buderus opened up about the lessons he has learnt so far under the guidance of Nathan Brown.
"The best thing I’ve learnt from ‘Browny’ is that as a coach you don’t second guess yourself. You know what’s right and what needs to be done," Buderus said.
"Nathan knows exactly where he’s going – he’s got a course and he isn’t straying from it. That fills everyone around him with confidence.
"Browny is leading the club and we’re all supporting him and just coaching what is in front of us. At the moment I’m just absorbing as much information and coaching advice as I can."
The Round 3 issue of Big League is on sale now at newsagents and at the ground. The Digital version is available through Zinio.