Penrith Panthers is delighted to announce that coach Ivan Cleary and co-captain Nathan Cleary have both re-signed with the club until the end of the 2027 NRL season.
Ivan Cleary will remain as head coach of the Panthers for at least the next five seasons after committing his future to the club.
The premiership-winning coach was already contracted with Panthers for the 2023 NRL season, but has extended his deal for a further four years.
Nathan Cleary will also remain in Panthers colours until at least the end of the 2027 season after he extended his contract for a further three years, having already been committed to the club for the coming two seasons.
Ivan Cleary, who is the club's longest serving coach, has been an integral member of the Panthers since first joining Panthers in 2012 for four seasons, before returning to the club in 2019, in which he was able to lead the Panthers to premiership success last season.
Following a successful playing career spanning 11 seasons, Ivan first started coaching in the NRL in 2006, and has gone on to coach 375 first grade games, as well as being named Dally M Coach of the Year on two occasions.
Nathan Cleary extends his playing contract following 122 first grade games for the Panthers, in which he featured in two grand finals and was twice named Dally M Halfback of the Year.
The elite halfback has represented New South Wales in 10 State of Origin matches, and claimed the Clive Churchill Medal for player of the match in Penrith’s 2021 Grand Final victory.
"I couldn't be happier, I'm really proud to lead this club and these boys," Ivan said.
"It’s hard not to think retrospectively and nostalgically in situations like this, I was just like Nathan but a bit longer ago, I could only dream of playing one NRL game.
"Thirty years later I'm still fortunate enough to live this life. Coaching is one of those things, as a head coach it’s not one or the other. There’s definitely times you wonder why you want to do it. That's the beauty of it because the good times are incredible. I love sport and being involved in teams.
"It’s my role to drive culture but it changes with the people we’ve got. The staff here as well, not only do they have expertise in their own field but they're totally committed to teamwork. We want to become a team that’s up there with the best of them and there's still a long way to go for us to achieve that."
Nathan Cleary also shared his delight in re-signing with the club.
"It’s pretty unbelievable, it’s hard to put into words, it only hit me last night I was doing to do this," Nathan said.
"It wasn't really that hard of a decision for me … I'm absolutely blessed to be at this club. I couldn't picture myself anywhere else.
"I came here as a 14-year-old kid after following dad around. It’s home for me now. It means everything to me. To stay for longer now and be part of this community is really special.
"At the end of the day I’m getting paid to do something I love. All I ever wanted to do was play NRL and Penrith made that possible for me."
Panthers Group Chairman Peter Graham shared his delight following the re-signings.
“On behalf of all at Penrith Panthers, I’d like to congratulate Ivan and Nathan on their contract extensions and say how pleased we are to have secured them both on long-term deals,” Graham said.
“As a club we’re excited to see the father-and-son duo remain together at Panthers, and we’re delighted to see them re-sign on the same occasion.”
Penrith District Rugby League Football Club CEO Matt Cameron said he was overjoyed to secure the pair’s services at the club long-term.
"Where our club and the NRL team sit at the moment comes down to good governance, disciplined decision making and a great culture," Cameron said.
"Since returning to the club, Ivan has been able to provide an environment for both players and staff to flourish. His desire to make our club a source of community pride is unquestionable.
"With respect to Nathan, he epitomises what we stand for as a development club and our built from within strategy. Having Ivan and Nathan at the club long term futureproofs the Panthers for years to come."