Petero gone as Gould's revolution goes on - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Petero gone as Gould's revolution goes on

Steve Jancetic 26/07/2011 06:29:41 PM Comments (0)

Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva has become the third senior figure to depart the NRL club as part of Phil Gould's revolution at the foot of the mountains.

Civoniceva was on Tuesday granted a release to return to Brisbane, where he will see out his playing days where it all began more than a decade ago.

Despite reports of a falling out between the veteran front rower and general manager of football Gould, both player and club insisted this was a move based on personal and not business motives.

In a statement released just over a week ago, Gould responded to questions about Civoniceva's future by declaring him a Panther for life, but that life will come to an end at the close of the 2011 season.

He will join sacked coach Matthew Elliott and Warrington-bound Trent Waterhouse as part of the Penrith overhaul Gould was empowered to conduct.

"We're changing coach, Petero's leaving us ... it's a big change for our club," Penrith chairman Don Feltis said.

"It's referred to in management as a revolution and after that there is evolution.

"We've got to stabilise everything now and get everything strong and in place for a confident start to 2012."

Asked if he was happy with the moves made by Gould, Feltis said.

"I signed him up so why wouldn't I?

"Our club needed some refreshing and who better to do it than Phil Gould?"

While Civoniceva said he was moving for family reasons, it is worth noting the Panthers didn't go to any great lengths to stand in his way.

In Sam McKendry and Tim Grant they have a pair of props capable of carrying the forward pack into the future, while Civoniceva wasted little time in endorsing Luke Lewis as his heir apparent as captain.

"With my decision I know the team's in great hands - we've got a great senior playing group led by Luke Lewis ... I know he's ready to take that next step," Civoniceva said.

"Tim Grant and Sam McKendry are two of the best young front rowers going around and it was a pleasure working with them, they're ready to take that next step now.

"It's a time where we're going through a bit of a transition process, but there's some exciting times ahead for the club."

Civoniceva denied a disagreement with Gould over the poor treatment offered interim coach Steve Georgallis - who was given no chance to audition for the job on a fulltime basis - played any role in his decision to head back to the Broncos.

The Queensland and Test great said he didn't consult incoming coach Ivan Cleary about his decision to quit the club.

"As a playing group we were hopeful that he'd (Georgallis) get an opportunity," Civoniceva said.

"But the decision was made and we moved on straight away after that.

"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.

"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."

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