Experienced forward Trent Merrin says he would be happy to step up and captain Penrith in 2018 as coach Anthony Griffin ponders who will lead his side.
Merrin is considered the front runner to fill the captaincy void left by Matt Moylan, who was released by the Panthers last month to join Cronulla.
In an exclusive column for Fox Sports, Merrin says he would be happy to take the role but pointed out he has plenty of competition.
“Peter Wallace has captained the club before and he’s a great leader. Isaah Yeo would also have to be up there when Anthony Griffin starts to think about appointing a captain,” Merrin said.
“I’ve been at the club for a couple of seasons now and I feel comfortable in my own skin as a senior player in the side.
“If Hook was to ask me to lead the side out it would be an absolute honour and I would love to take the job but it’s not a goal that really drives me.
“Whether I’m captain or not, my job doesn’t change. I’ll lead by example in the best way possible and that’s all I can focus on.”
Merrin has impressed club officials with the way he presents himself off the field and that is likely to get him the nod to lead the side in 2018.
There is a general feeling that Matt Moylan experiment as captain failed and it’s unlikely the club would choose a young leader again.
Merrin has also addressed rumours about angst in the playing group towards Griffin, saying he’s a “great coach”.
“What I will say about Hook is that any perception that he has man management issues out here at Penrith is absolute rubbish,” Merrin told Fox.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.