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Danny Buderus says the Knights must look to their past to improve their future.

He is a member of the coaching staff overseeing a major rebuild at the Newcastle Knights and club legend Danny Buderus says they must return to the foundation the club was built upon to move forward.

Knights coach Nathan Brown has handed nine players their NRL debuts in the first nine weeks of the 2016 Telstra Premiership and although they currently sit at the bottom of the competition ladder there is genuine optimism about what the future holds.

But in order for the Knights to make their transition an ultimately successful one assistant coach Buderus says in this week's issue of Big League it is critical they keep in mind the traditions that the club was founded upon when it came into the competition in 1988.

"The thing that gets most clubs through the tough times can be going back to their foundations – the pillars the club has been built on," Buderus says in the Round 10 issue of Big League.

"I know we all have to move with the times otherwise you get run over, but when you are looking for guidance, the best place to start is often at the beginning. 

"It got me thinking about Allan McMahon, who was the Knights' first head coach and put in place our club's identity. He came up with the 'Three Ts' – plenty of 'Tomorrows', you had to be able to 'Tackle' and you had to be 'Tough'.

"Where the Knights are at the moment, putting that identity back into place is a must.

"As we get into the new age of this results-driven business (on and off the field), every club has their priorities displayed somewhere in their structure, but the message can get muddled by changes in coaches and boards. 

"It's a timely reminder for clubs to not forget what they're about."

Highlighting the challenges that all clubs go through over the course of their histories, Buderus said that the ones who cope best and come out the other side are invariably those with a strong culture to fall back on.

"Look at clubs who have had a great culture from the start – Melbourne are a great example," Buderus said.

"They won a premiership early in their journey and still display all the characteristics from when they kicked off. They’ve faced some huge challenges over the years and to overcome them, they seemed to go back to the ideals they created as a new football club."

The special Indigenous Round issue of Big League is on sale now at newsagents and at the ground. The digital version is also available from

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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