CHAD Redman may have returned to his junior club, Western Suburbs, but he remains hopeful of one day resurrecting his NRL career with the Knights.
The former Knights and Gold Coast Titans hooker returned to the Rosellas for the first time since he was 16 this summer as they strive to regain the Newcastle Rugby League’s top perch.
Last season was a breakout year for the 23-year-old. He finally cracked the Knights NRL side, making two appearances before he made a mid-season switch to the Titans where he played a further five first-grade games.
However, an uncertain future on the glamour strip and pangs of homesickness, convinced Redman to return to Newcastle with his fiancee, Shelly, and their children, Cohen and Harlow to begin a plumbing apprenticeship.
“I chose to get my plumbing apprenticeship started because I had nothing behind me if something was to happen,” Redman said. “I have two young children and a partner and I just thought it would be the best decision for them and myself to get some backing behind me.”
Asked if he still held aspirations to return to the Knights, Redman said: “Absolutely that is the main goal. At the moment I have a plumbing apprenticeship, which I want to get stuck into, and I’m at the best club in Newcastle to try and get back into that type of fold. I’ll just play some good footy and that will look after itself if it’s to happen.”
Wests’ new coach Steve Storrie was another deciding factor for Redman.
As a junior at the New Lambton club, Redman was coached by Storrie and he also has close ties with club secretary Neil Scarr and football manager Greg Bannister.
Despite winning the minor premiership last season, Wests were considered under-achievers for missing the grand final for the first time since 2010.
Storrie has been active over the summer, signing ex-Knights, Penrith and Gold Coast centre Brad Tighe, Wyong centre Kyle MacGregor, former Cessnock fullback Jacob Jenkinson and second-rower Jake Finn has returned from the Knights NSW Cup squad.
The influx of talent should ensure Wests start favourites alongside defending premiers Lakes United when the season begins on April 16.
Redman is particularly excited by the chance to pack down against good friend and former Knights NSW Cup teammate, Chris Adams, who captains the Seagulls and is the competition’s leading player.
“Chris taught me everything he knew when we were at the Knights and he took me under his wing,” he said. “That’s one I cannot wait to lock horns with, Chris Adams, that’ll be unreal. Lakes won the comp and they haven’t lost any players, so everyone will be trying to match it with them this year.”