Stadium decision closer
Things are heating up behind the scenes on the new Penrith Stadium. NSW Cabinet has given Sports Minister Alister Henskens and Infrastructure NSW the hurry up on working with the Paceway on a relocation plan.
The Government can compulsory acquire the Paceway now the January 4 deadline has passed but it is still hoping to get an agreement for the Paceway to move to a new location.
Season launch looms
The Panthers will hold one of their earliest season launches on record next week when sponsors and officials gather with the players and coaching staff on Tuesday night.
The club will get the official launch out of the way before the upcoming pre-season challenge matches against Parramatta and St Helens.
A new pre-season hype video will be released on Tuesday too, as the Panthers gear up for their Premiership defence.
Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary at the VIP opening of new brewery Drink West in Penrith last Saturday afternoon. Cleary is an investor in the growing Drink West brand. His father and Penrith head coach Ivan Cleary was also spotted enjoying a beverage at the opening.
Melbourne will confirm soon a venue for the Round 18 clash against Penrith on Friday, June 30. ‘TBA’ was listed as the venue when the NRL draw was released late last year, with AAMI Park unavailable due to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
It’s highly likely that the Storm will head to Geelong for the match, where they’re also hosting a pre-season game against the Roosters later this month.
Trio are All Stars
Three Panthers players will feature in the first ever All Stars match to be played in New Zealand at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday, February 11. Tyrone Peachey and Chris Smith have been named in the Indigenous All Stars squad while James Fisher-Harris will lead the charge for the Maori All Stars.
No new merch
I’m told there’s no plans to release any World Club Challenge merchandise, even if the Panthers do take out the game against St Helens.
That’s not to say the NRL won’t release some commemorative merchandise through their channels, but there’s no plan on anything from the club.
Martin deal finally done
Liam Martin’s one-year contract extension was spoken about a lot before Christmas but the deal was never actually finalised.
On Wednesday, Penrith officially announced that Martin had signed on for the 2024 season.
I wanted to pass on my best wishes to the family of Bob Mitchell, a lifelong passionate Panthers fan who passed away last month. Bob was cremated in his favourite Panthers gear.
Cheerleaders snare sponsor
The Pantherettes will be sponsored by local gym Atmosphere Fitness this season. As I reported last week, the cheer squad has had somewhat of a makeover this season with a lot of new faces. The ladies are already in rehearsals for the year ahead.
Panthers co-captain Isaah Yeo relaxing with his family in Wollongong.
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