The strong relationship between Panthers coach Ivan Cleary and new recruit Lewis Brown was the catalyst for getting the utility ‘across the ditch’ to Penrith.
Now that close bond is set to bring Brown back to his best.
After Cleary left the Warriors following the 2011 grand final, the 26-year-old fell in a slump.
Even he admits his form suffered without the mentor that gave him a chance in the NRL.
“Last year I was really disappointed in my season but Ivan really brings out the best in me and I believe that’s good for the way I play and its good to be back under him,” Brown said.
“Ivan was probably one of the main reasons I came to Penrith because he was the one that gave me an opportunity in the NRL.
“When he was at the Warriors he was a coach that I listened to, respected and I’m just looking forward to playing under him again.”
Brown played 84 games in a four-year stint at the Warriors and is very capable in a number of positions across the park including centre, hooker, second-row and lock.
Brown hopes his experience in playing in a grand final as well as a number of international tests will secure him a permanent role in Penrith’s run-on side.
“I hope to be a player that everyone wants to play with and I hope to bring plenty of experience to the side,” he said.
Brown said the key to the Panthers having a better season than in 2012 is attitude.
“I think if we can develop the right attitude here we’ll go well,” he said.
“I believe we’ve got great depth for the 2013 season and beyond, and I also think we’ve got the right coaching staff and core of players that can create something special.”
Brown, who’s looking forward to playing alongside big names like Tim Grant, Kevin Kingston and Lachlan Coote, encourages all Panther fans to get out and support the side this year.
“It’s important we can get the backing from the public,” he said.
“Within our side we’re pretty confident that we can improve on how the boys went in 2012. Hopefully we get a good turn out for Round one because I’m looking forward to putting on the Panthers jumper.”