Kenny admits he checked open market before re-signing with Penrith

Penrith hooker Mitch Kenny. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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Popular Panthers hooker Mitch Kenny has opened up about his decision to remain loyal and stick with the Three-Peat Premiers.

While a number of high-profile Penrith stars have to decided to cut loose at season’s end for various reasons, the 26-year-old resisted the opportunity to go elsewhere and reaffirmed his commitment to the club by signing a new three-year contract last month.

However, while many thought Kenny only had eyes for the Panthers, he revealed to the Weekender on Wednesday that he too had a little ‘sticky beak’ before opting to stay.

“You kind of have to,” Kenny said.

“As much as you want the fairytale and stay forever and it’s perfect and sometimes that happens for players and it’s great, but we have short careers, and you have to consider what opportunities are out there.

Mitch Kenny chats with Weekender journalist Nathan Taylor. Photo: Melinda Jane.

“I had to do a little bit of that myself, but my preference was to stay here and I’m glad it turned out that way. If I ever had to leave, it would be pretty bittersweet but I’m glad to be sticking around.”

With 90 NRL games and two premierships to his name, Kenny said remaining at the foot of the Mountains was the best place for him to further develop his career and one day become the game’s premier dummy half.

“Other players have had to move on for whatever reason at times – be it for an opportunity, life changing money or salary cap pressure here, but I was always hoping I could stay,” he said.

“I definitely feel like this is the best place for my development and I feel like I’ve got a lot of developing to do.

“I have the right coaches, system and players around me here that will bring the best out of me and ultimately that’s the goal.

“I just want to be here and continue to be better and I want to help this club continue to achieve success and continue to grow.”

Playing seven matches so far this year – only missing one due to suspension – Kenny is enjoying a solid start to the season despite leading the competition in missed tackles with 38.

Mitch Kenny. Photo: Megan Dunn.

The Windsor Wolves junior said he’s got a lot of improvement in him and often blames himself when the team isn’t performing to its usual high elite standard.

“A lot of us are our own worst critic and I can be pretty hard on myself,” Kenny said.

“If I don’t feel the team is playing great, I ask myself ‘what role am I playing in that?’.

“There’s stuff I want to improve on. I’m not super stoked with my game at the moment, but I’m still putting in the work.”

Nathan Taylor

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 a decade.

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