With his signing likely to mean that he will be the second Panther to leave the club in light of Timana Tahu’s departure, for Sandor Earl, he is considering a good offer to join the Melbourne Storm for 2 seasons.
With 10 Panthers off-contract at the end of the 2011 season, and the future of many players uncertain following the sacking of coach Matthew Elliott, and the appointment of Phil ‘Gus’ Gould as coaching director, Earl will take the Storm offer, should the Panthers not offer him a deal.
”It’s a bit hard for everyone with what’s going on at the club as far as administration but I guess everyone is waiting on ‘Gus’ [Gould] to not only make selections but get a coach to see where things are going,” Earl said.
”But as far as other things go, I’ve had pretty good talks with the Storm and the Sharks. I’d love to stay at Penrith but at the same time I’ve got to look after myself, and the future is something that weighs on your mind. It’s pretty distracting. I’ve had a talk with Gus but nothing too serious. He addressed the team to let us know what his intentions are, now we are just waiting for a coach to be announced.”
“But there are a fair few players off contract, and I need to get the ball rolling. Gus said he was happy to see me playing first grade, and wanted me to keep it going. I’ve had a little bit to do with him because he’s been commentating on me since I was about 16 back in school days. I’ve always had positive feedback from him but it’s a matter of sorting out my future.”
For Earl, he also made it clear that the allure of cash was not his primary motivation for moving elsewhere in the NRL.
‘I’ve got a lot of improvement in me,” he said.
”So I’m not chasing big dollars. I want to play somewhere where I can improve as a player over the next few years and then hopefully I can come out with more first grade under my belt and experience, and then start looking at something a bit more serious. Melbourne’s appealing because of not only everything you hear about it, but if you don’t come out a better player, you come out a rep player. That’s something I want to look to achieve over the next few years, and I guess money will follow that.”
With Beau Champion headed to the Gold Coast for season 2012, there will be a vacant centre spot at the Melbourne Storm, and Earl is keen to take that spot.
”I enjoy the wing because it covers a few things in my game – ball running and under the high ball – but centre is a position I definitely want to look at,” Earl said.
”I think it’s a switch you make once you’ve got your wing position down pat.”