Jennings signs five-year Penrith deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jennings signs five-year Penrith deal

By David Beniuk 19/07/2010 07:03:21 PM Comments (0)

Penrith will build their NRL future around Michael Jennings after signing the brilliant centre until the end of the 2015 NRL season.

The end of the drawn-out negotiations finally came on Monday after the 22-year-old NSW representative had declared months ago he had no intention of leaving.

The rare five-year deal will keep the local junior the centrepiece of the Panthers' attack and allow the club to turn its attention to off-contract stars Frank Pritchard and Michael Gordon.

"The club will always endeavour to provide long-term opportunities to its local players and keep them as long as possible wherever possible," Panthers chief executive Michael Leary said in a statement on Monday.

"Jennings is a player who has already shown at a young age what he is capable of."

The brilliant attacking back has played three State of Origin games for the Blues and one Test for Australia.

His deal comes after Panthers coach Matt Elliott had appealed to local businesses interested in providing third party support in the club's game day newsletter at the weekend.

Leary said putting sponsorship arrangements in place had been one reason for Penrith fans' long wait.

"That's a part of it but of course you've got to go through the negotiation process with other players that we're looking to sign," he told AAP.

The second-placed Panthers have a host of players coming off contract at the end of 2010, including Maurice Blair, Gavin Cooper, Nigel Plum, Brad Tighe and exciting youngster Wade Graham.

Popular local product Graham appears next to no chance of staying with Penrith, with a decision between North Queensland and Cronulla likely by the end of the week.

Graham's manager Mark Stewart said Penrith were yet to table an offer for the 19-year-old.

"There's no indication from Wade yet which way he's likely to go," Stewart told AAP.

"Both the offers on the table are quite appealing.

"We're going back to Penrith as well and having something hopefully finalised by the end of this week.

"It's disappointing for Wade, he's a Penrith kid through and through but that's the way it is sometimes."

Leary said he was waiting to hear from Stewart.

"I've told his manager that we would like to keep him," the Panthers boss said.

"He's got to come to us and tell us what it's going to cost to keep him."

Meanwhile, Cronulla captain Trent Barrett's final decision on retirement will be put on hold until his shoulder injury is assessed later this week.

He has attracted interest from Canberra and Parramatta as well as the Sharks.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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