Penrith coach Ivan Cleary will be replaced by former Brisbane mentor Anthony Griffin following an audience with executive general manager Phil Gould. Ivan Cleary, who still had a year left until his contract expires with the NRL club, was remarkably sacked by the Panthers on Monday.
?I?ve just finished a review and felt we need to make a change,? Gould explained according to the Daily Telegraph. ?There?s no hiding from the fact that he was terminated. His contract was up next year anyway and I didn?t want to go through all the business next year of will or won?t he stay. It was in our best interest to do it now.?
Both Cleary and Gould were previously rumored to have had a falling out over the treatment of assistant coach Trent Barrett. ?Ivan was obviously very disappointed but he said he had a feeling this was going to happen,? Gould said. And according to the Guardian, possibilities for the future Panthers head coaching position include former Wests Tigers clipboard holder Mick Potter and Penrith NSW Cup coach Garth Brennan.
?Ivan Cleary has done a tremendous job in his four years at the Panthers,? Gould said according to the Guardian. ?He has laid the foundation for the future and we are enormously grateful for his contribution to the club. We wish Ivan, his wife Rebecca and his family all the very best for the future.?
Rumors have also stated that Cleary might make a move back to the Warriors to replace Andrew McFadden. But Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle indicated that the coaching staff is already set for next season. ?If you are calling re Ivan as you know we already have our coaching staff for next year, so Ivan is not heading back to Mt. Smart, cheers,? Doyle said according to the Daily Telegraph.