Penrith delighted at keeping Coote - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Penrith delighted at keeping Coote

By Ian McCullough 03/09/2010 04:21:03 PM Comments (0)

Penrith chief executive Mick Leary has expressed his relief at securing exciting young fullback Lachlan Coote for a further four years.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a stellar first full NRL season, and although he is currently sidelined with osteitis pubis, and will miss Saturday's clash with Cronulla, Leary labelled Coote as the club's future.

"We are very happy that he has agreed terms, my objective over this period of time was to keep the really good local players and also a competitive side on the field," Leary told AAP on Friday.

"We were going backwards and forwards over a couple of months but we finally got there the deal done."

Leary said the length of the contract was a sign of the club's belief in Coote, who at 178cm is one of the smallest fullbacks in the game.

"Lachy's age was factor and it is not as if he is 28 or 29, he has got plenty of good years in front of him," he said.

"If you look at the form he showed before he got injured ... where he was running third in the Dally Ms that just shows how much further he can go."

Coote is the fifth player to sign a new deal in recent months along with NSW pair Michael Gordon and Michael Jennings in addition to prop Tim Grant and winger Brad Tighe.

Leary admits he was disappointed to lose backrower Frank Prichard to Canterbury but said he was pleased to have secured some of the key men in the Panthers' run to a first finals appearance in six years.

The club may not make moves to replace the New Zealand international.

"We have got a very strong roster, but we will keep an eye open to see what is available, but we are generally just looking at our second tier players now," Leary said.

The Sharks will travel to Penrith determined to send retiring skipper Trent Barrett out on a high as he plays his last NRL game following a 14-year career.

"I played in Brett Kenny's last game and I will always remember that .... a lot of players will look back and remember they played in Trent Barrett's last game for the rest of their lives," said Sharks coach Shane Flanagan.

"We want to finish on a positive, we want to spoil their party but more importantly we want to not undo all the good work we have done recently by playing badly and losing."

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