Clydsdale to take baton from Bedsy

STAYING: Adam Clydsdale.
STAYING: Adam Clydsdale.

DRIVEN by a desire to succeed childhood hero Danny Buderus as Newcastle’s long-term No.9, rising star Adam Clydsdale has turned down an offer from arch-rivals Manly to remain with the Knights for three more years.

The 20-year-old Scone-born hooker is the grandson of home-grown Hunter international Don ‘‘Bandy’’ Adams and captains the Knights’ National Youth Cup team.

Earmarked as a future NSW Origin representative, Clydsdale was one of seven Knights juniors who attended a Blues ‘‘Pathways’’ camp last December. 

He trained with the Knights’ NRL squad last summer and has made the most of his chance to work alongside Buderus on and off the field.

‘‘It’s good to have it done. I wanted to stay here, especially being a local junior, and hopefully one day I might make my NRL debut here too,’’ Clydsdale told the Newcastle Herald.

‘‘I grew up playing my juniors for the Knights and that’s why I want to stay here. Another reason is to hopefully work closer with ‘‘Bedsy’’ [Buderus] and keep learning from him.

‘‘We do a bit of work together, and I think we’re actually catching up this week to do a bit of vision from our game yesterday, which is good. He has helped me out a lot, which is good because he doesn’t have to do that, so that means a lot to me.’’

Clydsdale  was on the verge of accepting an offer from Manly at the end of this week.

But after productive  talks yesterday with Knights coach Wayne Bennett, assistant Rick Stone and recruitment manager Peter Mulholland, Clydsdale’s manager Andrew Woolnough said the 2009 NSW under-16 representative had agreed to terms for three more years.

‘‘The Knights tabled a three-year offer, as did Manly, and we’re still finalising details about the third year,’’ said Woolnough.

‘‘But we’ve agreed that Adam will sign for three more years. It’s fair to say that at the very start he always intended to re-sign with the Knights, until the offer from Manly came in – and the enormity of that offer took us by surprise. Because of the size of it, we had to take it seriously, and it took a while for the wheels to start turning with Newcastle. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t about the money.

‘‘Adam has an emotional attachment to being a Knights junior and wanting to play first grade for the Knights and in front of the home fans here  ... he wants to carry on the legacy that Danny has left here.’’

The Knights signed former Raiders rake Travis Waddell earlier this season to a conditional two-year deal that includes a guaranteed contract for 2014, but Clydsdale will back himself to become Bennett’s first-choice dummy half after Buderus retires at the end of the season.

‘‘We respect Travis’s ability but Adam is signing here because he wants to be the club’s long-term hooker,’’ Woolnough said.

‘‘Adam has come through with a lot of the boys in the under-20s. They won an SG Ball comp together as under-18s a couple of years ago, and hopefully a few more of those blokes can stay too and bring back that local feel to the Knights that went missing for a while.’’

Clydsdale was the Knights’ NYC Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year last year, won the same awards in 2010 when the Knights won the SG Ball premiership and national under-18 club championship, and was the Harold Matthews (under-16s) Player of the Year in 2009.

In leading the Knights to a 50-14 victory over the Sharks at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, he scored a try and set up two others, made 35 tackles and kicked five times for 170metres.

A life member of the Scone and Maitland clubs, ‘‘Bandy’’ Adams was 17 when he made his first-grade debut for Maitland in the 1951 Newcastle Rugby League grand final. He played five Tests for Australia in 1956, toured with the 1956-57 Kangaroos, and represented NSW nine times and Country 11 times.


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