NATHAN Brown has made the remarkable claim that his main achievement as Knights coach was to address the "horrible" drinking culture that existed when he first joined the club.
Brown arrived at Newcastle in late 2015 and said he soon realised that alcohol was a problem.
"I would say probably the biggest thing I believe is that when I first came here, to be honest with you, the best work was done at the Greenroof [hotel], on the dance floors at the nightclubs and the bars," Brown said.
"The drinking culture was horrible.
"It's ruined careers. Where now, I feel these kids know how to prepare properly and live life properly. That's my greatest achievement."
Brown did not name individuals, but one of his first big decisions after arriving at the Knights was to sanction senior playmaker Jarrod Mullen for drinking at the club Christmas party while nursing a calf injury. Mullen was dropped from first grade for a pre-season trial and then overlooked for the club captaincy.
"Probably what I'm most happy with is that the Knights are going to have the next generation of kids who have got people to model their life on like Tim Glasby and Dave Klemmer, and they've got some people who actually prepare for football games as their No.1 priority," Brown said.
"When I first came here, rugby league was probably the fourth priority on most people's minds here.
"It needs to be the first thing. Now the next young generation are going to get the benefit of good players who are good professionals and good people, so they can prepare well."
The Knights took a hard-line stance last summer when two players, Jacob Saifiti and Tautau Moga, were heavily fined for alcohol-related indiscretions.