When new Penrith recruit Kurt Capewell wakes up each morning and pulls open his curtains to let some light in, the first thing he sees outside his window is the famed Panthers Rugby League Academy.
Since his arrival last month from the Cronulla Sharks, Capewell has made the Mercure Hotel at Panthers Leagues Club his temporary home as looks for more permanent accommodation.
Not only does Capewell appreciate living so close to the Academy that he can walk to work each day, he also enjoys the luxuries of staying in a four-star hotel like free breakfast and housekeeping.
“It’s really helped me settle in and living next door to training makes it easy in the mornings,” Capewell told the Weekender.
“I’ve got a view of the Academy, so I wake up in the morning, open the curtains and see the glorious field heating up.
“I then pop over to the Leagues Club for a quick breakfast at 6.30am before heading over to training.”
While Capewell hopes to find a new place to live before Christmas, he will miss having his bed made and towels replaced every few days.
“I put the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door so I don’t have housekeeping come around every day, I get them to make up my room every second day,” he admitted.
“The staff are nice and friendly but, being so close to training, it can feel like you don’t get away from the place. I’ll hopefully have a new place in time for Christmas.”
Along with Manly’s Api Koroisau and Rooster Zane Tetevano, Capewell was one of Penrith’s major off-season signings. Following a hugely successful four years at the Sharks, the talented utility is excited for a new challenge.
“Ivan and Baz (Trent Barrett) are great coaches and we have some great staff here as well. I think we can do big things, it’s a great opportunity for me,” Capewell said.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary had been chasing Capewell’s signature since his stint at the Wests Tigers, but he finally managed to land the 26-year-old after the Sharks could no longer afford to keep him.
“The Sharks asked for some time because they were trying to sort out their cap… but it came to a stage where I needed to make a decision,” Capewell said.
“Knowing Ivan’s chased me a couple of times is great, it gives you confidence. He obviously sees potential in me and thinks he can help my game.
“The Sharks will forever hold a spot in my heart, but my main goal now is to win a Premiership with Penrith and better myself.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.