Knights winger moves to Penrith to link up with his brother

Kevin Naiqama

It might not be the news that Newcastle fans want to hear but when a club has talented backs that are consistent and stay injury-free, it often means some players cannot get a go and for Kevin Naiqama, he is one of those players.

Whilst he could have been content to bide his time for a first-grade opportunity, Naiqama felt like taking the Penrith opportunity was the best thing for his career, even though it is tough for him to have to leave the Newcastle Knights.

Playing in 12 games for the Knights since joining his older brother Wes Naiqama, the winger has made the decision to once again rejoin his brother at the same club, this time at the Penrith Panthers.

“It was a difficult decision for me to make but I am excited for this next adventure and hopefully it is the right step to better my footy and make me a future first grader,” said Naiqama.

“Having Wes (Naiqama) there is a bonus and it has all worked out well.

“It is going to be hard to say goodbye to Newcastle, I was only 18 when I arrived here and I have found a new home here but I am excited about what the future holds.”

With representative trio Darius Boyd, James McManus and Akuila Uate standing in his way, the move was one Naiqma felt was right, but the club will miss him and are pleased that he has laura san giacomo pokies managed to find a club elsewhere.

“We are really pleased that Kevin has been able to find a Club where he can play regular first grade football and move forward with his career,” CEO Matthew Gidley said.

“He has come through our system at the Club and spent a number of years with our coaches and our staff, which has enabled him to become the player he is.

“We hope that he can fulfil his potential by playing week-in, week-out in the NRL.

“We certainly wish Kevin all the best.”

Although he has signed a deal with the Panthers, the young winger has every intention of finishing the season strongly with the Knights.

“The Club has given me a lot over the years and I am very thankful for that,” Naiqama added.

“My game has definitely progressed with their help and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.

“There is still half of the season remaining and I am looking forward to doing all I can to help the Knights this season.”

For the Panthers, they are excited to have Naiqama on board, especially with the possibility that a few backs in their depth stocks may depart the club.

“Kevin is a great acquisition for Penrith. His speed and versatility on the field will add depth to our roster, and he will no doubt become a crowd pleaser,” said Panthers General Manager of Rugby League, Phil Moss.

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