Newcastle will kick off a new era under rookie coach Adam O'Brien next season with a new "modern" logo and a bold expectation the Knights will finish in the top four in 2020.
The new logo, which does away with the word Newcastle and symbolically features the knight's head looking forward rather than back, was unveiled for the first time to club members last night.
It's just the fourth logo change in the club's history and follows a directive 12 months ago from the NRL for all logos to be simplified across the game.
Knights CEO Phil Gardner said a number of NRL clubs have already made changes.
"A lot of the clubs have gone to just images with no words at all so that they could carry the heritage but at the same time, be modern, cool and trendy and appeal to the younger generation that we are all trying to capture," he said.
"Once we knew we had to make a change, we used the time we had to consult with the Old Boys, our current players and we ran a series of focus groups among supporters where we had a whole range of different looking logos. That's where we came up with the logo we will now be using."
The most notable changes that are likely to draw fan reaction are the mirror-imaged knight's head and the decision to go without the word Newcastle.
Gardner defended the changes, pointing out Newcastle wasn't on the 1997 logo when the club won the ARL premiership and he claimed reversing the knight's head was a symbolic move.
"If you look at where we have been and what we have been through, particularly over the past 10 years, we thought this was an appropriate time to be looking ahead to the future with optimism rather than looking back," he said. "And we are not dropping Newcastle because we will always be called the Newcastle Knights. It's more about simplicity of the logo which also reflects the wider areas of the Hunter Valley, Mid-North Coast and Central Coast that we also encompass."
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Meanwhile, at the insistence of O'Brien, Gardner said the club won't be talking down expectations in 2020 despite not making the play-offs for the past six years.
"Adam is adamant we are a top four club - it's what he expects of the team, it's where our fans expect us to be and the playing group needs to be on the same page," he said.
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