Warriors deny Penrith want Cleary - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors deny Penrith want Cleary

Ian McCullough 17/06/2011 01:43:57 PM Comments (0)

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah has denied coach Ivan Cleary is set to take over at rival NRL club Penrith next season.

Cleary has been at the helm of the Auckland-based Warriors outfit since 2006, and is close friends with new Penrith general manager Phil Gould, who he played under at Sydney Roosters.

Reports have suggested Gould has Cleary as his prime target to guide the Panthers.

"Ivan has told us he wants to stay here at the club and we have re-affirmed our desire for him to stay as well," Scurrah told AAP.

"He is contracted to us until October 2012 and he has not indicated to us that he wants a release, so as far as we are concerned he will be our coach next season."

Scurrah said Penrith had made no contact to discuss the possibility of signing Cleary for the Panthers' coaching position, up for grabs with Matt Elliott leaving the club at the end of this season.

He also revealed Cleary and the club have an agreement in place which gives the club around six months notice should there be a parting of the ways.

"We've appropriate mechanisms in our contracts for when we start dialogue that gives both parties plenty of notice about re-negotiating a new deal or looking for a new coach should Ivan decide he wants to leave," he said.

"There is right timeframe for that and Ivan knows that and is comfortable.

"He has told us he wants to stay here and continue to build on the good progress we have made since his arrival and we are happy to have him here."

Under Cleary the Warriors have made the finals in three of the last five years and Scurrah is pleased with the direction the club is heading in.

"The two years we have not made the finals were the years we were docked points for salary cap issues and also the death of Sonny Fai in 2009 which rocked the club to its foundations," Scurrah said.

"We obviously want to win the comp, but that is a very difficult thing to do and you have to be realistic about what you can achieve.

"We won the Toyota Cup last year which was a great boost for the club and although there are a lot of people involved in what goes on here, Ivan is the head coach and has done a great job here and we hope he will continue to do so."

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