Kids the catalyst for Civoniceva move - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kids the catalyst for Civoniceva move

Steve Jancetic 26/07/2011 06:58:15 PM Comments (0)

As he watched his kids play with their cousins during a recent trip to Brisbane, Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva knew his time at the Panthers was up.

"With the kids, you can only bluff them for so long," Civoniceva said as he confirmed he'd be joining his family in heading back to Brisbane in 2012.

"As every year goes by it gets harder to get them on the plane, leaving family behind."

The rendezvous with family occurred during Civoniceva's time in Brisbane with the Queensland State of Origin side.

With his wife and four children already planning a return to Brisbane in 2012, the Queensland and Australian great decided he too wanted to be a part of it.

The thought of living away from his family and making the odd trip north to see them no longer appealed, so Civoniceva asked out of the final year of his deal with the Panthers.

And it was then that he opened dialogue with the Broncos regarding a possible return.

"That was a huge part of our decision, just getting home to a close family," Civoniceva said.

"We've had a great time here but there's nothing like being around grandparents and things like that.

"That was probably the biggest reason behind why I asked for the release."

Panthers chairman Don Feltis said he understood Civoniceva's mindset.

"Petero's wife and kids were always going back to Brisbane at the end of this year and Petero was staying on," Feltis said.

"He's obviously changed his mind and decided to go.

"If it was me I wouldn't want to be down in Sydney with my wife and kids up in Brisbane for 12 months.

"I can understand him wanting to go back. He's got my blessing.

"I'm disappointed he's going because he's played really well for us.

"He's probably been one of the best signings our club's ever made."

And as he chose to head home with one family, Civoniceva admitted it was hard to leave another.

"It was pretty emotional I guess telling the boys," Civoniceva said.

"I had an opportunity to leave the club two years ago to go back to the Broncos and I turned that offer down because of how I feel about this playing group."

Civoniceva also revealed that 2012 may not necessarily be his NRL swansong either, as he contemplates the option of going around again in 2013 - by which time he will be 37.

"There's a lot of things that will determine that decision but I'm hopeful that if the body's holding up I can push on for another season," he said.

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