On the list of the most frustrating footballers I’ve ever seen, Frank Pritchard has got to rank right up there among the very best.
For most of the season the fire just doesn’t seem to be there. He is one step slower, he doesn’t have the impact, and quite honestly, he looks like he is carrying too much weight.
When he is on though, he is nothing short of devastating!
For someone his size, his footwork and ball playing skills are amazing. He can completely tear and opposition team apart. He is a game changer, someone who can no be stopped, and most importantly, someone who makes his team mates better.
Michael Jennings is am amazing center who can create his own chances. However Jennings is at his best when he is running off the work of Frank Pritchard.
Big Frankie has had a bit of a mixed career at Penrith. A number of times he has looked at leaving the club, with Super League and even Rugby Union being talked about. I always got the feeling that Pritchard was the time of player that needed more work put into him.
Some players just need a cuddle every so often.
It took the Panthers a while to work him out, and I think they were willing to hold off on thrashing him at training to get his weight down if it meant he was happy, and that he would put in those few performances a year that won the club games.
Prichard was off contract at the end of 2010 and I think Penrith felt like they deserved a little something back for the work they had put into Frank. Contract talks dragged on, but that is nothing new with Pritchard….and then it happened.
He decided to sign a three year deal with the Bulldogs.
Now, Frank Prichard is going to earn a little more than $1,000,000 over the next three years. That’s unbelievable! For a player that has a few issues with his performances, its incredible that he could walk away with a cool million in a few years from now!
If the Bulldogs want to pay that much for him, great, and for Frank to be able to set up the future of him and his family with a huge contract like that, how can you not be happy for the bloke?
Oh, but they were not happy….
The Panthers were fuming and while they didn’t come out and say so publicly, they didn’t have to.
Out trotted Matt Adamson, who was last seen at Penrith when the playing group couldn’t stand him and demanded he was sacked from his job as the clubs water boy!
Matt Adamson, the most hated player in the history of the club. Not a bad effort for a player that achieved nothing at all while at Penrith.
Adamson, who is best mates with Matthew Elliott, told the Daily Telegraph in Sydney “I’d let him go now – Frank Pritchard is a selfish individual. It’s a disgrace what he has done, announcing this two weeks before the finals,”.
“Frank is only worried about Frank. He is purely in the game for himself. If I was the coach, I wouldn’t have him in my club. He is not the player I would want to be taking the field alongside,”
Lucky the coach doesn’t run out on the field and play. Even luckier that Adamson doesn’t play, or coach. Adamson went on though…
“You don’t win a comp with individuals – you win a comp with a team. Frank is a great player but he has been overpaid for the last three to four years and hasn’t delivered.”
Lucky Penrith won a Premiership with the Panthers in 2003. An achievement Adamson didn’t get anywhere near!
“Frank should have been let go years ago. I’d drop him right now. Frank has let down his captain: he has turned his back on Petero Civoniceva.”
Yes, Im sure Petro would be fuming that a player had played the majority of his career at one club, then decided to end his career elsewhere for more money. Oh….right. Anyway, Adamson wasn’t finished!
“One hundred per cent this could affect Penrith’s finals chances.”
Now if a club is so fragile that a player looking to secure his future elsewhere is the thing that destroys their premiership hopes, let me tell you, that team was never going to win in the first place.
Penrith Legend, highest point scorer and premiership winning Ryan Girdler put it all in perspective very nicely.
“I don’t think it will have a bearing on their run into the finals. They are all professionals and will get on with it. You don’t get too many opportunities to play in the finals. I think the last time for Penrith was 2004. It won’t affect them.”
Matt Adamson has somehow found a place as a mouth when a lazy journo needs a stupid, screaming headline that’s backed by a quote from a complete and utter idiot. The funny thing is that across the game, his remarks have been rubbished, its just part of the game and has been since the meeting in the George Hotel when the game was formed.
Frank Pritchard deserves every single cent he can get out of the game. How much is he worth? Exactly how much the Bulldogs were willing to pay for him!
As a Panthers fan I can wish him nothing but the best.