Alamoti answers call of the Champs: How decision to join Penrith was a no-brainer


Paul Alamoti in action against Manly. Photo: NRL Photos.
Share this story

Penrith’s Paul Alamoti thought he would be a Bulldog for life – that was until the three-time NRL Premiers came calling.

The 20-year-old centre made his NRL debut for Canterbury in the opening round of the 2023 season before going on to play 19 games in the top grade.

A strong goalkicker and versatile in multiple positions, Alamoti was earmarked as a star of the future before his time at Belmore came to an abrupt end last year.

“As soon as Penrith approached me, I was all-in,” Alamoti told the Weekender.

“I never thought I’d end up here; I always thought I’d be a Doggies player for the rest of my career, but the world works in mysterious ways and I ended up at Penrith.

“It was a no-brainer decision to come.”

Paul Alamoti has found a home at Penrith. Photo: NRL Photos.

Canterbury’s loss is Penrith’s gain, with Alamoti running out for the Panthers seven times this season and crossing the line on four occasions.

The Milperra Colts junior said he didn’t expect to play too many games in the NRL this year, but has enjoyed every minute playing alongside some of the best in the business.

“To get half a dozen games under my belt so far has been really good and it definitely helps when you’re playing with a lot of quality players,” Alamoti said.

“I think playing so many games for the Bulldogs last year helped me massively also. I was able to get a year of NRL under my belt before coming here and every bit of experience playing in the NRL arena definitely helps.”

Despite still living at home to “save cash” because “it’s not cheap out here”, Alamoti has fit into the Panthers system and community like a glove.

Paul Alamoti. Photo: NRL Photos.

If you think the 98kg former Australian Schoolboy looks comfortable out on the field already, it’s because he is and there’s a few big reasons for it.

“Firstly, the work we put in on the training paddock, everything that’s designed for the boys to do day in, day out, is meant to help you if you do end up in the NRL team. So, if you do get a chance to slot in, all the training and drills they put you through, it’s all meant to enable you to slot in with ease and make you comfortable,” Alamoti said.

“Secondly, what’s good about this club is that it’s a tightknit group where everyone gets along with each other.

“There’s always different things going on around the joint – boys playing basketball, boys playing cards, boys having a laugh in the corner. I, personally, try and mingle and learn off everyone – be a sponge.”

Paul Alamoti tries to break through the Dragons’ defence. Photo: NRL Photos.

As for Alamoti’s future at the foot of the Mountains, he’ll remain a Panther in 2025 with the club expected to provide more details in the coming weeks.

“I definitely want to stay,” he confirmed.

“I’ve found a home here, it’s very enjoyable, I love coming to work, so hopefully I can be here a bit longer.”

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.

Share this story