Ivan Cleary Wests Tigers contract: Coach rejects Penrith Panthers

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IVAN Cleary has reportedly decided to reject Penrith and see out his contract with the Wests Tigers as speculation about his coaching future reached fever pitch this week.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Cleary will quash talk about a return to the club he was sacked from three years ago when he addresses the media at 9.45am, easing the fears of Tigers fans who have been bombarded with talk the Panthers were trying to lure him to the foot of the mountains in 2019.

Cleary is contracted to the Tigers until the end of 2020 but was linked with a move to Penrith after Anthony Griffin was axed just a month out from the finals. Cameron Ciraldo has taken the reins as caretaker coach but Penrith’s general manager of football Phil Gould revealed the club didn’t have a definite replacement for Griffin next year.

Panthers chairman Dave O’Neill, a close friend of Cleary’s, gauged his interest in returning to the club last week and the 47-year-old informed his bosses at the Tigers about the chat, reportedly saying he needed to think about his future.

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Cleary never asked for a release from his contract with the joint venture club and the Panthers never tabled a former offer but that didn’t stop the rumour mill going into overdrive that he could well be at the helm at Penrith in 2019.



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