Penrith Panthers boss Phil Gould is hopeful that in 2014 three grades of football will be played at every Panthers home game.
Gould this week outlined the new restructure of the Panthers system which will see the club take full control of NSW Cup side, Windsor Wolves, effective immediately, and by 2014 they will play under the ‘Penrith Panthers’ name.
“It was our decision that in 2014 we enter our own team, Penrith Panthers, in the NSW Cup and it will be played like we used to play with all three grades here,” he said.
“Next year I’ll speak with the NSWRL about playing games at Centrebet Stadium where it coincides with an NRL match. If it doesn’t coincide with a home NRL match and they have a home game, then they’ll play at Windsor but in Penrith colours.”
Gould said it was important for a number of reasons to bring back the reserve grade side in house.
“Firstly it will improve our development pathways for youngsters coming through, so that they come through in Penrith colours and in the Penrith system,” he said.
“The last couple of years have been about developing the strength of our junior representative teams, our NYC team, our second tier team – so that over the next few years we can start to produce a steady stream of players coming through.
“Our aim over the next 10 years is to have Penrith at the stage where of its top 25 NRL players, 20 have come to us at the age of 15 or 16 and have come through the Panthers system.”
The club’s coaching structure has also changed from this week with Panthers NYC coach Garth Brennan taking control of the Windsor Wolves; Windsor’s current coach up until now, Guy Missio, will become Brennan’s assistant; and former player and Panthers NYC assistant David Tangata-Toa has been promoted to coach of the Holden Cup side.
“I promoted Garth because he’s the second best coach in the club,” Gould said.