Beaten 2019 grandfinalist Cessnock's hopes of winning this year's Newcastle RL premiership are set to be given a boost with the Goannas closing in on the signatures of former Knights, Raiders and West Tigers backrower Joel Edwards and former South Newcastle premiership-winning prop Cameron King.
Both players have been in negotiations with the club for a number of weeks with the Goannas quietly confident of landing the duo to bolster a high-powered forward pack.
Along with Maitland, Central and Kurri, Cessnock has been a big off-season mover in the player market after the loss of several players from last year's grandfinal squad headed by retired forwards Brendan Hlad and Dan Metcalf and utility Paul Carter, who has joined Macquarie.
They have already snared former Knights players Tyler Randall, Tyrone Amey and Brayden Musgrove along with ex-Lakes grandfinal players Cody Charles and Nick Newman.
English prop Liam McAvoy, who has been doing pre-season training with the Knights' NSW Cup squad, is another significant recruit for coach Todd Edwards.
The likely additions of Edwards, a Cessnock junior with 108 NRL games to his credit, and King to a forward pack that already boasts Randall, Amey, McAvoy and locals Reed Hugo and Kori Barber gives the Goannas a powerful look.
Coach Edwards confirmed the club is negotiating with Edwards and King but claimed talks are on-going.