Elliott can plead for future at Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elliott can plead for future at Panthers

07/09/2008 06:23:40 PM Comments (0)

The future of Penrith coach Matthew Elliott remains unclear after the Panthers board decided to let the embattled coach state his case to see out the final year of his contract.

Elliott was today given a stay of execution and faces a midday meeting tomorrow to discuss the team's poor 2008 season and his own future.

Speculation has been rife for the past month that Elliott would not see out the third and final year of his contract in 2009.

The Panthers completed another disappointing season with a 34-16 loss to Manly at CUA Stadium, leaving them to finish in 12th place.

That is only a slight improvement on Elliott's first season last year when the club finished with the wooden spoon.

The Panthers board held an "informal discussion" today over Elliott's future and opted to give the coach a chance to speak with them directly tomorrow before they make any decision.

Chief executive Michael Leary refused to say whether the board had decided to sack Elliott.

"I'm not speculating on anything," said Leary.

"I can't tell you much more until tomorrow.

"Every year we go through a review of the year and we're giving him an opportunity to come and speak to the board about the team's performance."

Elliott did not return phone calls today.

The 43-year-old coach has had a rocky transition to Penrith after joining the club from Canberra in 2007.

He replaced beloved figure John Lang at the helm and has had difficulty winning support among the senior players.

Several of those senior players are now leaving Penrith including premiership heroes Luke Priddis, Luke Rooney, Tony Puletua and Rhys Wesser.

Kiwi Test forward Frank Pritchard has requested a release several times this season and may yet join the exodus as he continues to pursue his interest in heading overseas.

Despite the ongoing drama this year Elliott has never once shied away from the spotlight, mockingly pulling his tie above his head in a hanging motion at his press conference after Saturday night's loss.

Elliott said he sensed the axe could be coming and expressed disappointment he'd been kept in the dark over his future despite receiving an assurances just last week that he would see out the 2009 season.

"I'm disappointed, disappointed in the way it's transpired," Elliott said.

"I'm disappointed that the accountability of where we're at rests solely with me.

"I obviously take responsibility for all the things I'm responsible for, there's no doubt about that and I'm really disappointed in how the season collapsed from five weeks ago."

Elliott maintained he wanted a long-term future at Penrith but that seems highly unlikely now.

"I've got a three-year contract, I've got another year to serve," Elliott said.

"You won't find me in the shadows or hiding ... I've got a debrief planned for next week, meetings planned with players so as far as I'm concerned I'm still at work.

"My intention is to be here for another eight to ten years, whether that intention is reflected in other decision-makers well, I guess we'll all know that pretty soon."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news