Civoniceva denies Gould fallout - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Civoniceva denies Gould fallout

By Steve Jancetic 26/07/2011 01:05:06 PM Comments (0)

Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva denies he was pushed out of the NRL club by general manager of football Phil Gould as he made the decision to finish his football career with Brisbane.

Civoniceva was granted a release from the final year of his contract with the Panthers to rejoin the Broncos, with whom he played ten seasons for from 1998 to 2007.

There was speculation the veteran Test and Queensland Origin prop had been shown the door as part of Gould's cleanout of the club following the sacking of coach Matthew Elliott.

Civoniceva denied he had a fallout with Gould after the pair disagreed on the decision to overlook interim coach Steve Georgallis for the job on a fulltime basis - with Ivan Cleary appointed to be the coach from 2012.

"There hasn't been any contributing factors to me going other than it's a decision purely based on me wanting to take my family home," Civoniceva said.

"I had to make some decisions based around my family, I've got a young family and that opportunity to go home and finish my career in front of my family and friends up in Brisbane was something I wanted to do."

Civoniceva said he had anticipated finishing his playing career at the foot of the mountains after re-signing with the club midway through 2010.

"I always thought that was the way it was going to go," he said.

"There was some speculation a few weeks ago about what was going to happen there with the rest of my career with the club.

"I had a great chat to Phil and he was adamant that my future was secure here.

"Through that whole process it was a case of my reflecting on what was going to be best for myself and my family."

Gould issued a statement on Tuesday claiming the he understood the reasons behind Civoniceva's decision to return home.

"Petero has been tremendous for the Panthers. He has given great service to the club, to the community, not to mention outstanding leadership to our team," Gould said.

"His influence at Penrith will be evident long after he's gone."

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