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Clydsdale ‘humbled, honoured’ to remain at Knights

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Hunter product Yasmin Clydsdale believes the best is yet to come for the Newcastle Knights’ NRLW squad.

And, it’s one of the reasons the Scone-based second-rower was more than happy to sign a three-year deal to remain with the premiership-winning outfit.

The PE teacher played an integral role in the club’s inaugural success, scoring a try in the grand final on her way to securing World Cup selection for the Jillaroos.

She featured in all seven matches of the 2022 campaign, joining the Knights after two seasons and another title with the Sydney Roosters in 2020-21.

Yasmin Clydsdale. Photo: Newcastle Knights

“I’ll admit, it was a relief to put pen to paper,” Clydsdale said.

“I’m getting a bit older, and there are plenty of young girls coming through, so I felt humbled and honoured to be offered three years.

“It’s fantastic to sign such a contract – and having that security is something I’ve wanted for a long time.”

Born and raised in Newcastle, Clydsdale admitted there was no better feeling than beating the Parramatta Eels 32-12 in the decider at Sydney’s Accor Stadium in October.

Even Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes hosted a civic reception in the players’ honour, handing them the Key to the City.

“It was pretty amazing to be able to bring the trophy back to my hometown,” she said.

“Returning here [to the Knights] was something I always wanted to do.

“But, to actually win, and bring the trophy home, was pretty special.

“The reaction from the fans caught us all off-guard.

“It was a lot different from when I played at the Roosters.

“Putting on the red and blue jersey lifts everyone.

“Especially being a one-team town, you can definitely notice the difference.

“The people of Scone loved getting behind me, too.

“It’s a strong sporting community.

“Anything rugby league-related, they certainly know about it.

“And, having my husband (Adam), parents and family involved in my sporting life means the world to me.”

Now, Clydsdale’s focus is on the next challenge.

“We’re working towards something special under Ronnie Griffiths,” she told the Newcastle Weekly.

“He’s a lot different to other coaches I’ve had.

“I really enjoy his style.

“And, he’s building a great culture… a team-first mentality.

“If everyone buys in, we’ll take that into the upcoming season.”

The sixth edition of the Telstra Women’s Premiership, starting in the next few months, will feature 10 sides, with the Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys, Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers joining the competition.

Each team plays nine rounds, with a two-week series to follow involving the top four in semi-finals with the victors meeting in the decider.

“It would be great to go back-to-back,” Clydsdale said.

“However, with 10 sides in 2023, and plenty of personnel changes at clubs, I think a lot is going to be unknown.

“So, if we focus on ourselves and the little things we can do right, it will turn out alright for us.

“Re-signing Tamika Upton is a huge coup for the Knights as well.”

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