Following a successful debut season as head coach, the Newcastle Knights have moved quickly to lock in Adam O’Brien for an extended stay.
The popular mentor, who guided the NRL club to a finals berth in 2020, this week committed himself for a further two years – taking him up to the end of 2024.
The Batemans Bay product has brought a deep understanding of the game and new level of professionalism to the Knights, with his influence reaching every area of the organisation’s operations.
CEO Philip Gardner said securing O’Brien’s services long-term was a crucial step in building a successful future.
“Adam is an outstanding coach and an outstanding person, and everyone at the club is delighted that he will be our head coach for another two seasons,” he stated.
“This is an ideal outcome for everyone, it provides great personal security for Adam and his wife Sharyn.
“It also means that we can continue to build the foundations required for the club to be consistently successful.
“Adam’s continued growth and evolution as a coach confirms he is the right person to lead the Newcastle Knights now and into the future.
“We are absolutely thrilled to know that he will be here until at least 2024 – and, hopefully, many more years after that.”
O’Brien arrived at the Knights ahead of the 2020 season, following a 12-year stint at the Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters.
His impact was instant, winning his first two games and clinching the signature of Tyson Frizell before COVID-19 brought the competition to a halt.
With his services now secure, O’Brien said he was excited to build towards a sustained period of success for the club.
“I’ve been really pleased with our overall progression since I joined the club back in November (2019),” he explained.
“We identified key areas to strengthen, we developed a strategy to make that transition and then targeted the right people to execute those plans.
“I’m really pleased with the people we have under the roof.
“We’ve brought in several key staff members to complement our existing team, some great recruits, and key retentions.
“And, we have an ongoing strategy designed to ensure our list remains highly competitive.
“I’m really proud they chose us, just like our members.
“From day one, Sharyn and I knew Newcastle was for us – it’s like where we both grew up on the South Coast.
“We were a good fit for Newcastle; and Newcastle is a good fit for us.
“We both love the community, we enjoy life outside of work and this extension allows us to bed down our new home and build deeper roots.”