Pritchard, Panthers begin contract talks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pritchard, Panthers begin contract talks

By David Beniuk 16/02/2010 08:11:25 PM Comments (0)

Penrith have opened contract negotiations with New Zealand international Frank Pritchard, as coach Matt Elliott predicts the destructive forward will have his best NRL season yet.

Pritchard is off-contract in 2011 and Elliott is hopeful he will extend his stay at the foot of the Blue Mountains.

"That's the plan and I think Frank's in for his best season this year," Elliott told AAP.

Pritchard's commitment to the Panthers has been questioned in recent seasons, with reports circulating he wanted out of the club.

But Elliott said attitude issues were a thing of the past for the 26-year-old second-rower.

"I don't think that's something that's been evident for over 12 months now," he said.

The coach is confident the negotiations will not take his player's focus away from football.

"I don't think any of us, particularly Franky, are being distracted by it so I feel pretty comfortable that, regardless of the outcome ... Frank is going to play his best football for us," Elliott said.

"I just know that the intent is there from the club, I know Frank wants to stay, so hopefully we can get something sorted out."

Meanwhile, Elliott is also keen on extending the stay of hooker Kevin Kingston, who arrived as a salary cap refugee from Parramatta's grand final team.

"I would like to see him stay, I can tell you that right now," Elliott said.

"His whole attitude to preparation, what he is actually prepared to do for his team-mates, and I also think he's a high quality player.

"I'd like to think that not long after we get playing he's in a position to say, 'Look, you can see what I'm worth' and we're in a position to go, 'Let's get this done'."

The Panthers play their first trial match against Parramatta at CUA Stadium on Saturday with their big group of new recruits, minus Daine Laurie who is nursing a broken toe, all aiming to impress.

Kingston, half Travis Burns, backs David Simmons and Adrian Purtell and forward Nigel Plum will all be hoping to secure starting berths for round one.

"They're in exactly the same boat as everyone else," Elliott said.

"At the back-end of the pre-season I don't really see them as new recruits any more, I just see them as part of the squad."

Laurie is expected to play in Penrith's final trial against Newcastle in Port Macquarie on February 27.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 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