There is speculation the Knights are aiming to swap Mitchell Pearce for Mitchell Moses at Parramatta or that the club will let him return to the Sydney Roosters. Neither are going to happen.
The Roosters shunned Pearce for Cooper Cronk and won back-to-back premierships but now, without him, they’ll struggle.
Some people have even said Pearce shouldn’t be Newcastle’s skipper but I’m perfectly fine with him as captain but Mitchell Barnett will be a shoe-in to take that spot after Pearce retires. I wouldn’t even say no to them sharing the role, as Barnett shows strong leadership both on and off the field.
I would be open to Pearce signing for three years after 2021 – two locked in, with the third being optional so he can either play, retire or finish off with a season in England.
However, he should take a pay cut.
Knights supporters should also be proud of the fact we made the eight in 2020. Yes, our exit was a nightmare none of us will be forgetting any time soon but for many Newcastle players, it was their first experience of playing finals footy and now they have a taste of what it’s like.
This is progress that can be built on towards our next premiership and given Pearce has got plenty left in him, his goal should still be to captain the Newcastle Knights to a premiership before he retires.
We have recruited well for next season. We do need an experienced five-eighth to take some pressure off Pearce and Kalyn Ponga but with Jayden Brailey back and fresh for next season, providing we have a full-strength spine for the majority of the year, we could be one of the most dangerous teams in the competition.