In rugby league circles, he has a bit of a bad reputation – but, after he was fined $50,000 by Panthers General Manager Phil Gould, he has turned the corner – with Panthers centre Michael Jennings changed, and with Gus eager to see him play.

“Michael Jennings has been one of the standout performers this summer, both on and off the field” Panthers boss Phil Gould said.

“His training has been first class, his community involvement has been exemplary. His management have seen a real change in his attitude and a desire to become the professional athlete we all know he is.

“We have seen a visible change in his demeanour, his approach. I’ve got to say he has been one of the standout performers this summer, he has been really good.”

The question will be whether his new and improved off-field training techniques and commitments, will transcend onto the field itself.

“I still think his best is easily in front of him, easily in front of him,” Gould said.

“People are a product of their environment and what happened between Michael and I and others was all a product of a change in that environment.

“And if anything has come out of that, Michael is one of the success stories in turning around that attitude and that culture.

“Now it’s up to Michael, he has the talent and now it appears his professionalism or his attention to detail with professionalism is catching up to that talent.”

Jennings, who is still only 23 and entering his sixth season in first-grade – says that his fitness, is even better now, than it was when he was a teenager.

“I think I was getting too comfortable with my position at the club,” he said. “I’d say this time last year I wasn’t fit. I feel as fit now as I did when I first came into first grade.”

“You know, in your career, you are going to make mistakes but it is about not making them twice.

“That’s when it becomes a problem. All I can do is learn from it. I know I can get better.”

By ricky

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