ISAAC Gordon played his first game of rugby league in Newcastle and used to wear a Henny Penny Knights jersey with No.2 on the back - the same number worn by the famous cousin he idolised.
And the fleet-footed Sharks winger, who scored two tries in Cronulla's 26-6 victory over Newcastle at Toyota Stadium on Saturday and blitzed the Broncos with an 80-metre screamer in Brisbane the previous week, wants to play for the Knights.
A second cousin of foundation Knights flyer Ashley "Flash" Gordon, Isaac was born in Brewarrina but he and his family moved to Newcastle and he played mini-league for Waratah-Mayfield. He played juniors at Cessnock, moved back to Brewarrina then shifted to Sydney.
Gordon's father, Isaac snr, manages Aboriginal youth hostels and took up a position at Kirinari, in the Sutherland Shire. Young Isaac joined Cronulla-Caringbah juniors, was drafted into the Sharks' SG Ball and Jersey Flegg teams and progressed through their system.
Isaac snr said his son, now 23, was off contract at the end of this season and open to all offers but would always have a soft spot for Newcastle.
"He's going well, mate," Isaac snr said.
"He just needed an opportunity. He hasn't been approached yet by Cronulla, so if the Knights were interested in him, he'd definitely talk to them."
Ashley said his and Isaac jnr's grandfathers were brothers, and that the relationship between his father, Ron, and Isaac snr was so close they were more like brothers than cousins.
"One thing that's always held Isaac back has been his weight. He's always been the quickest but until now he's been too small," Ashley said of Isaac, who has beefed up his wiry frame to 84 kilograms.
Isaac jnr made his NRL debut in Cronulla's season-opener against Melbourne, backed up against the Warriors a week later and has scored three tries in the Sharks' past two games.
He intercepted Jarrod Mullen's pass in the 31st minute on Saturday and returned it 40 metres to score under the posts, leaving Knights speedster Aku Uate in his wake, then made it a double by crossing in the corner in the 70th minute.
"He's got blistering speed but his real position is fullback," his father said. "He played most of his junior football at fullback and his lower-grade coaches at Cronulla think that's his best position."
Of Newcastle's established wingers, NSW representative James McManus is signed until the end of next year, Uate until 2013 and Cooper Vuna and Wes Naiqama are unsigned beyond this year.
Ashley Gordon said he had spoken briefly about Isaac with Knights strategic development manager Keith Onslow. Coach Rick Stone said the Knights were working through several recruitment and retention issues but would always be interested in players as quick as the slippery Shark.
"I'll speak to Keith about him and make some inquiries," Stone said.
The Knights are also keeping tabs on Isaac's 19-year-old brother, Douglas, a St George junior who plays in the Newcastle Rugby League lower grades.
Sharks football manager Darren Mooney said Isaac was a late bloomer who was not in Cronulla's top 25 this year but they hoped to keep him.
"He's a really good young kid and we'll be looking at sitting down with Isaac and all our off-contract players over the next couple of months to work through it all," Mooney said.
"He's definitely in our sights but obviously like any off-contract player, they're out to get what they can get but we're looking to hang on to Isaac. He's jumped out of the box this year and gone really well, so we're really proud of him."