On Sky Sports Radio this morning Peter Peters has revealed that there is unrest among the Penrith Panthers playing group.
Players are said to be unhappy with the way Steve Georgallis was overlooked for the Panthers coaching position, with Ivan Cleary signed to coach the Panthers from the beginning of next season.
This isn’t the first time the Panthers players have been unhappy with the direction the club was going in. You may remember that they playing group was said to be livid with club management that they would dare to put pressure on Matthew Elliott. They loved Matthew Elliott!
Dean Richie has also made the claim on Sky Sports Radio that Petero Civoniceva and Phil Gould exchanged words in a meeting last week.
So lets digest all of this news…
I could not give a rats arse if the Penrith Panthers players are happy or not. This is a team of players that were all happy to lose for years and years. They were happy to support Matthew Elliott and his losing ways. They were pissed off when the club wanted to move in a new direction and destroy their cosy little part time footballer lifestyles.
So Matthew Elliott got sacked, and in stepped Steve Georgallis. He has coached the team to two whole wins as I write this. One game against the Cowboys, one against a terrible Bulldogs team, both at Penrith Football Stadium.
Through all of this, Petero Civoniceva, for some reason, thinks he runs the show out at Penrith.
As well as being the clubs captain, he had a lot to say about the clubs coaching position, he was unhappy with “meddling” by the clubs board, now he’s arguing with the clubs General Manager….
Petero Civoniceva, as far as I’m concerned, can pack his bags and find another place to play.
When the Penrith Panthers approached Phil Gould a few months ago to get some guidance from him, the club was at the lowest point in its history.
Years of losing, some of the lower crowd averages in the competition, a terrible coach, a neglected junior base….you name it, the Panthers were no good at it.
When Gould took over in an official capacity as General Manager, he looked at the clubs inner workings. He talked to people. He made observations.
He came to the decision that Matthew Elliott had to go (Which instantly saw crowd averages jump by a few thousand!). He sacked one player and fined another. He signed Ivan Cleary to a three year deal. He brought in new levels of accountability and discipline to the club.
Through all of that, the playing group is pissed off. They are also two wins from two games.
Clubs go to shit as soon as the inmates start running the asylum.
If you look at Newcastle from a few years ago, where players blew up that their mates were all being sacked. They were a basketcase. If you look at the West Tigers these days, the softest forward pack in the competition for years, they are all unhappy their mates are being told to look elsewhere so the club can sign a World Cup winning, Premiership winning prop in Adam Blair, and the Tigers are all playing like crap!
Someone said to me this week “Players want to work with the best, they don’t want to work with people they know are not up to the job”. My reply was “If your current boss was terrible at their job and let you slack off and bludge and put in half the effort you do now to earn the same amount of money, would you think you had a terrible boss, or would you love him?”.
Panthers fans have known for years what has needed to happen at Penrith. No one has been accountable for years at the foot of the mountains. Everyone’s job was safe. No one ever questioned the results, nothing ever changed.
Today, everyone’s accountable. No one is safe. New standards have been set. If you don’t like them, you know where the door is.
Panthers fans have voted with bums on seats at the last two games. We are feeling something we haven’t felt in years….optimism.
So on behalf of all Panthers fans, I would like to say to Phil Gould, don’t stop what you’re doing. Forge ahead, stuff the media, stuff the players, just get the job done. All Penrith Panthers fans are behind your efforts. This is something we have wanted, and needed, for years.
Go you Sanyo Panthers!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com