Mark Geyer, one of Penrith’s greats, has been vocal with his opinion that Frank Pritchard should not be released by the Penrith Panthers and should be made to continue playing. Geyer’s statement is amid numerous reports of the backrower’s apparent discontent at the Penrith club.
The subject of numerous claims, it is believed that Pritchard wants out, and more recently has been linked to Super League club
The accusations that Pritchard “faked” a shoulder injury to remain on the bench during the Panthers’ 40-6 loss against Melbourne last night has added fuel to the fire and doubt about his commitment has obviously grown.
Pritchard came off at halftime during the Panthers v Storm clash last night and allegations arose when he did not want to return to the field while the Penrith trainers believed he was fit enough to continue playing.
It is believed that a senior Penrith player together with a club official had to convince Pritchard to even return to the interchange bench for the 2nd half of the match.
While Pritchard did not return to the field, coach Matthew Elliott talked down the accusations by saying “physically he wasn’t right to go”.
Believing that “he’s playing like he wants to go way”, Geyer stands firm, and in line with the Panthers club, who claim they will not release Pritchard, who still has two years remaining on his current contract.
Geyer is of the opinion that players these days find a way out of contracts too easy and encourages the Panthers to make a stand and make Pritchard earn his money. In comparing the situation to that of Sonny Bill Williams, Geyer goes on to say that the Panthers team has been built around Pritchard and he obviously can’t just say when he wants to leave.
Taking a hard line, Geyer says he would make Pritchard enjoy his time and regardless of whether or not he wants to stay, there isn’t much he can do. On the publicity front, Geyer has also called on Pritchard to publicly resolve the situation with the Panthers’ Fans in mind.
It comes as no shock that David Riolo, Pritchard’s Manager, refused to make any comment on his client’s future.