Long-term deals are usually few and far between but in a sign as to just how much the Penrith Panthers wanted to retain Dean Whare, the utility back has signed a new 5-year deal.
The new deal will see Whare remain at Penrith until the end of the 2022 season and for the 27-year-old Kiwi international, it was an easy decision.
“I’m just really happy to have the opportunity to commit my long-term future to the Panthers,” Whare said.
“Penrith feels like home to me and my family loves living here so it was an easy decision to re-sign.”
Praising the club and the fans, in particular, Whare believes the club is headed in the right direction.
“We have a great group of players, some of the most loyal fans in the game and I’m excited about the direction we’re heading as a club,” Whare continued.
“The club has shown a lot of faith in me and I’m determined to repay that faith with some good form over the coming seasons.”
The club is also pleased, with Executive General Manager of Rugby League Phil Gould grateful to Whare for originally signing with the Panthers in 2013.
“Words cannot describe how highly I regard Dean Whare both as a person and a player,” Gould said.
“I have a long-standing gratitude towards Dean for agreeing to trust us with his career when he joined us from Manly in 2013.
“We are extremely grateful for the service he has given our club since the day he arrived and he is a very important part of our club going forward.”
The veteran administrator is hopeful that Whare will remain a Panther for life.
“It gives us great pride to know that Dean’s first preference is to be part of Panthers for the remainder of his career. He did not seek offers from other NRL clubs,” Gould added.
“I would love to see Dean finish his NRL career with the Panthers.”