Willie Mason has fond memories of watching the likes of Paul Harragon on the hill at Newcastle before donning the red and blue jersey himself, now he reckons the latest Knights prop is making a serious impression.
Mason, who was in Newcastle on Tuesday for the launch of this year's Legends of League event at McDonald Jones Stadium on November 16, says Klemmer has "stood up" during the first two months at his new club.
Klemmer, like Mason, has played for both the Knights and Canterbury as well as representing NSW and Australia. Newcastle recorded their third straight win on Saturday when they beat the Bulldogs 22-10 in Brisbane.
The 25-year-old Knights recruit has, from the first nine rounds this campaign, made the most runs (166), post contact metres (578m) and charge downs (two) in the NRL.
Klemmer's also third, but the best forward, for run metres (1592m) and 17th overall for tackles (330).
"I think Klem's really stood up this year," Mason said.
"He's taken his game to another level and been good to watch."
Mason has also been impressed with the form of Knights captain Mitchell Pearce and fullback Kalyn Ponga.
"His [Pearce's] leadership skills have really shown the last three weeks and he's pretty well been the best player in the comp the last three weeks. So has Kalyn Ponga," Mason said.
"Their combination is so important. Last year they [Knights] would have made the top eight and one of them would have won the Dally M if they didn't get injured."
Mason was at Knights headquarters midweek promoting the 2019 Legends of League event, which has been held on the Central Coast for the first two occasions in 2017 and 2018.
"I think it's unbelievable what Matty Hill [organiser] has done," he said.
The now 39-year-old Mason was joined by fellow former Newcastle players Danny Buderus and Mark Hughes as well as long-time opponents Wendell Sailor and Trent Waterhouse.
"I'm sure Danny is looking forward to leading out the red and blue back at home again in front of what we hope will be an amazing crowd," coach Hughes said.
"It's a lot of fun and there's good rugby league played."
Canterbury are the two-time defending champions. Penrith have been brought in to replace Manly. Newcastle, Brisbane, Parramatta and the Barbarians are the others in the nine-a-side tackle competition.
"I reckon Newcastle are a big show this year," Sailor said. "They'll find a little bit extra [playing at home]."
Former Knights captain Kurt Gidley, Queensland enforcer Gordon Tallis and now South Newcastle coach Andrew Ryan are some of the retired players already signed up for Legends of League along with Steve Menzies, Matt Bowen and Nathan Hindmarsh.
Ten of Penrith's 2003 premiership squad have been recruited.
The Mark Hughes Foundation is once again the charity partner with $40,000 raised the last two years.
Tickets go on sale Thursday (9am) via the Ticketmaster website.