Gordon threatens to leave if he is not at fullback

It is a position that one does not see a great deal of in the NRL, but for Panthers utility back Michael Gordon, he has made it clear to the club – ‘play me at fullback, or I may leave the club’.

It is an ominous warning for the Panthers club, with Gordon being one of their best from the fullback position last year after Lachlan Coote was injured, before getting injured himself during the season.

With Gordon playing predominantly on the wing during his time with the Panthers, it has been difficult to play in his preferred position of fullback, given that another exciting Panthers prospect in Lachlan Coote, has played there for the most part.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary knows of the situation, and will make his decision when the time comes.

“I am aware of the situation,” Cleary said when asked about Gordon’s release request.

“Mick is off contract this year and he has certainly made it clear that he would like to play fullback.”

Andrew Purcell, who is Gordon’s manager, says that when his current deal expires, Gordon will be sold as a fullback, rather than as a winger.

“We believe Michael can be in the top group of fullbacks and we certainly won’t be discussing him as a winger for his next contract,” Purcell said.

“And he will be going on the open market as a fullback if things don’t work out.

“We tried to do his last deal as a fullback, but he hadn’t played a game there at that point and people hadn’t seen what he could do.

“The Panthers have been very open with us and we all know where it is at. But there will come a point where they will need to make up their mind up.”

Despite the potential jostling for the position between Coote and Gordon, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary says that they both remain in the hunt, to play in the number 1 jersey.

“It is evolving,” Cleary said.

“Lachlan didn’t start the pre-season. He had some injuries last year and that has flowed over. Mick has made it clear that he would like to play there, but there are lots of players in the squad that would like to play in different positions.

“At the end of the day, he is like everyone else and he will have to do what suits the team best. From that point, we are in a position where I will have to mix it up and see what I come up with.”

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