The first days of the Newcastle Knights were an uphill battle.
Founders Michael Hill and Leigh Maughan had a hunch that - as Newcastle and the Hunter churned out top-rate players for the best city clubs - a local club made up of local sons could give the city slickers a run for their money.
But could a Newcastle NRL club even be feasible?
The trying days that followed tested the founders' resolve and every ounce of their determination. From putting together an entire team of first-grade players with less than $400,000 in the bank to estimating crowd numbers by the number of pies sold at the ground on game day and instilling fear in the biggest and best clubs in the league when they dared set foot on Knights home turf.
In this week's instalment of Toohey's News, Newcastle Knights founder Michael Hill looks back on the early days building the Newcastle Knights, and some of the cheekier tactics it would be impossible to get away with these days that made the upstart Knights a fierce foe to face.
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Barry Toohey will bring a new episode to all your favourite podcasting apps every week, complementing his premium and exclusive Knights reporting and analysis in the pages of the Newcastle Herald.
Season 2, Episode 6 will publish next Thursday.