|RECALLED: Neville Costigan at Knights training yesterday.|
The 28-year-old Papua New Guinea international and former Queensland Origin representative has confirmed speculation that this will be his final season at the Knights after coach Wayne Bennett told him they would not be offering him a new contract.
Costigan, who after four weeks in the NSW Cup has been recalled to the NRL squad to play the Titans at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, said there had been some interest from other NRL clubs but finishing his career with an English Super League club was the most likely scenario.
One of four Knights who won the 2010 premiership under Bennett at St George Illawarra, Costigan harbours no ill feelings towards the man who has coached him at three clubs.
"I have had a few offers elsewhere, and a couple overseas as well. I still feel like I've got plenty to give, I'm just lacking a bit of confidence at the moment, so I just need a fresh start to get myself back on track," Costigan told the Newcastle Herald after training yesterday.
"I turned 28 this year and hopefully I can play for another couple of years and repay someone for giving me another chance if I go somewhere else.
"Wayne sort of said they're going another way and they're looking at younger fellows like Simsy [Korbin Sims] and Alex McKinnon, and that's fair enough.
"I've had my time, and I'm happy to move on somewhere else and play some footy.
"I haven't spoken to my manager for a couple of weeks. Last time he said he'd had a few nibbles, but I just told him I want to concentrate on playing some good footy first . . . and just try to get back to the NRL."
Not interested in a mid-season release before Sunday's transfer deadline, Costigan said he hoped to achieve something special with the Knights before leaving at the end of the year.
"Definitely, if I do go overseas and if this is my last year in the NRL, I'm looking to make it a good one, so I want to get back into first grade and try to cement a spot for the last 10 games and hopefully more and try to make the semis," he said.
"All I can do is play some good footy for Wayne and the boys. This is a good bunch of blokes, we're all good mates, and I just want to play good for them and show I can still play some good footy.
"This is my third year here now and I want to play it out. I'm not a believer in moving mid-year."
● NSW Cup utility back Will Smith has become the latest Knights player to join Penrith.
The Newcastle-born 20-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the Panthers, starting next season.