Cleary appointed Panthers head coach

Penrith Panthers is delighted to announce Ivan Cleary has joined the club as NRL head coach on a five-year deal.

The 47-year-old returns to Panthers following a successful two-year stint at Wests Tigers.

Cleary previously coached Panthers between 2012 and 2015, guiding the club to a Preliminary Final appearance in 2014.

"I am very fond of Wests Tigers and all its people," Cleary said.

"I enjoyed my time there and it is a club heading in the right direction.

"I would like to thank Justin Pascoe and Marina Go for their professionalism throughout.

"I am honoured to be back as head coach of Panthers and very much look forward to being part of the future journey.

"Personally I had a feeling of unfinished business with a club and a community that my family and I enjoy a strong connection with, from grassroots through to NRL players, staff and management.

"We have raised our family in the community for a number of years and are proud to call it home."

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Panthers Group CEO Brian Fletcher said the Panthers Board is confident Cleary will help the club achieve its full potential on and off the field.

"The Panthers Board is delighted with the appointment of Ivan Cleary as head coach for the next five years," Panthers Group CEO Brian Fletcher said.

"The talent and depth in our playing squad means our club is well-placed to push for a premiership and we believe Ivan is the coach to take us there.

"Our players and staff have always maintained immense respect for Ivan, which speaks volumes about the quality of his character.

"It is with a renewed sense of excitement that we look forward to the 2019 NRL season and beyond."

Cameron Ciraldo and Peter Wallace will take on NRL assistant coach responsibilities at Panthers in 2019, with pre-season training officially commencing on Monday 12 November.