Out of all the 16 NRL clubs, Newcastle has been the least productive in recruitment this season. From the three players purchased only one is available for selection for Round 1. Clint Newton is out with a bicep injury, Russell Packer had his contract torn up and so that leaves Michael Dobson.
Dobson comes from the small town of Junee, famous for the Junee Diesels and producing Rugby League royalty Laurie Daley and Ray Warren. Laurie Daley has the local footy ground named after him while Ray Warren has a statue that looks down the main street. Maybe if Dobson has a successful stint with the Knights he may get a railway overpass or street named after him.
Dobson represented Australian Schoolboys in 2003 & 2004 before making his 1st grade debut with French club Le Catalans Dragons in 2006. From there he moved to the north of England where he played for Wigan, before returning to Australia with Canberra. But Canberra wasnít cold enough so he jumped on a plane back to England, this time finding a home with Hull KR. After five and half years playing in the Super League, Dobson was offered an opportunity to join the Knights and to play under Wayne Bennett and assistant Kevin Walters.
So far Dobson has settled in well, with good outings in the Auckland Nines and in the trial match against Canberra. But to secure a long term position, he will have to battle with Kurt Gildey, Tyrone Roberts and Jarrod Mullen when he returns from injury. If Dobson can push for selection in Round 1 and hold a regular spot in first grade, then Iím sure it wonít be long until the town of Junee name a street crossing or pergola in his honor.