I'm not walking out on Penrith: Petero - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I'm not walking out on Penrith: Petero

By Wayne Heming 08/11/2008 01:13:08 PM Comments (0)

Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva has dismissed rumours he will walk out on the embattled NRL club next season.

Civoniceva was named Penrith's player and clubman of the year despite the upheaval which ripped through the club in 2008 and constant rumours Kiwi international Frank Pritchard wanted out of his contract.

The former Broncos prop has been the victim of whispers he has approached the club for a release from the remaining two years of his three-year deal.

"There's always going to be that kind of talk and speculation," said Civoniceva.

"I told Penrith right from the start that when I signed I was here for the term of the contract," said the big prop.

"I've got next year and then there's an option in the club's favour."

Civoniceva, who Brisbane should never have let go, said his first year with Penrith had been "testing" at times.

"That's part and parcel of football," said the 32 year-old, still rated the number one prop in the world.

"My last season at the Broncos wasn't the easiest year either.

"We lost a lot of key guys and we were struggling to make the eight.

"I felt there was some younger guys in the team that really let the club down with what they were doing on the field and off the field as well."

"The great part of why the Broncos were successful was the culture and the environment they had and that's what we're trying to build at Penrith.

"I feel really positive about the club and the future of the club with the calibre of young men we've got coming through.

"There's some great kids there and everyone knows the amount of talent that comes out of the west of Sydney. I'm always amazed at the kids that turn up at training.

"Being a senior player I feel excited about trying to create a really good culture at the club and the other senior guys feel the same way too.

"Hopefully we can turn around what's been a disappointing year."

Civoniceva said he was relieved the board had made a decision on coach Matt Elliott's future after it looked at one stage like he was going to be sacked.

Civoniceva headed up a delegation of senior players which recently spoke to Elliott and the club's coaching staff about moving forward in 2009.

"The great thing about Matt is he was willing to listen to what the players had to say.

"While he didn't agree with everything, it was a very positive meeting.

"I've got a real positive feeling about next year.

"It's a changing of the guard with guys who've been very successful at the club like Tony Puletua, Luke Priddis, Luke Rooney and Rhys Wesser all moving on.

"Those guys had tremendous success with the club and won them a premiership in 2003 and now we're going to see the emergence of a lot of young kids who've been knocking on the door for a while."

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