KNIGHTS recruit Mitchell Frei has arrived in Newcastle for the chance to develop his game under master coach Wayne Bennett.
Frei has joined the Knights from the Brisbane Broncos, signing a one-year contract with Newcastle’s NRL club with an option for another season in 2014.
The hard-hitting 20-year-old has spent the past two seasons in the Broncos’ National Youth Cup team.
He signed a second-tier deal with the Knights to play NSW Cup and hopes to make Bennett’s NRL squad.
Frei believes signing with the Knights is a great opportunity.
‘‘There wasn’t the same opportunity up there as I have down here, so it was time to move on, and Wayne gave me a great opportunity,’’ Frei told the Newcastle Herald yesterday.
‘‘Wayne was at the Broncos when I first got there.
‘‘I didn’t train with him or anything. I’d see him around and he’d say ‘g’day’ and important things like that, but I’m really looking forward to being coached by him full-time.’’
Frei began getting to know his new teammates at the club’s fitness testing at the University of Newcastle yesterday and said he was looking forward to 2013.
‘‘Training was good. They are a great bunch of blokes, they’ve made me feel welcome and I’m looking forward to getting into it.’’
Bennett is confident Frei will strengthen the squad.
‘‘Mitchell adds depth to the young front-rowers we are establishing at the Knights, which we identified as an area we needed to strengthen going forward,’’ Bennett told the Knights website.
The front-rower, who is also a goal-kicker and plays golf off single figures, had a stellar season last year, representing the Maroons under 20s.
Frei will not be the only new face to wear the red and blue in 2013.
He has joined Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith, Toka Likiliki and David Fa’alogo as new signings, and former Knights winger Anthony Quinn is also close to agreeing to terms.