Sandor Earl

He might be off-contract at the moment, and he may not have played a first-grade game since Game 2 – but for Panthers winger Sandor Earl, he is keen to make the wing spot his own at the club for the rest of this season, as well as for years to come.

Earl has been playing for Penrith’s feeder team in the NSW Cup, the Windsor Wolves, for the last couple of months now – but has an opportunity to impress Panthers coach Ivan Cleary once more, as the Panthers side underwent a few changes for this week’s clash.

Earl says that his return to first-grade is perfect timing, as he is currently in negotiations with the club, about his future.

“Over the coming weeks with this chance, it’ll become obvious if I stay or look somewhere else,” he said.

“Penrith is definitely my priority because they gave me an opportunity and I do love the place.

“But at this point my options are open and my manager is doing all he can to find the best option. And there’s definitely some interest.”

With Earl going through a shoulder reconstruction on both shoulders last year, he always knew it was never going to be easy to impress a new coach straight away.

“When Ivan [Cleary] first came over, I didn’t get the opportunity to show him a lot and it’s been like that since,” he said.

“But hopefully I’ll make an impact each week from here until the end of the season.

“Ivan set me a few tasks at Windsor and over the last few weeks I’ve reached them and really found some good form that I’m looking to bring and contribute to first grade.

“It’s a chance to do a 360 from where I’ve come from — I had a good rise and then injury but now I feel really good about my footy.”

Although Earl would have liked to return to the top-grade sooner than he has, he has been able to feel the up and down ride that the Panthers have had so far this season.

“took a bit longer than I would have liked” to return to top tier football and said it’d been difficult to “watch the team and watch it change without me being involved.”

“I thought I’d come back from injury and it wouldn’t be too bad but it was definitely a lot harder than I thought” he said. “I had to get the physicalness back, which I might have lost mentally from the shoulders, and just work on the little things.

“I was lucky enough to be captain with Windsor, worked on my carries and defence and just hit really good form that I want to show in the NRL.”

Despite having the chance to now play in first-grade under coach Cleary, Earl had initial fears that that chance perhaps may not have arrived this season.

“But I knew I was doing everything I could,” he said.

“There’s always that feeling of when’s it going to happen but I can pat myself on the back for staying mentally strong, putting all those negative thoughts into positive stuff and playing harder each week.”

“And I’m glad I’m here now.”

By ricky

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.