Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett during a training session in Sydney, Wednesday, September 6, 2017. The Sea Eagles take on the Penrith Panthers in week 1 of the NRL Finals Series at Lottoland on Saturday. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett during a training session in Sydney, Wednesday, September 6, 2017. The Sea Eagles take on the Penrith Panthers in week 1 of the NRL Finals Series at Lottoland on Saturday. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

Panthers not in the market for Barrett, says Gould

PENRITH will not target Trent Barrett to replace the axed Anthony Griffin as head coach regardless of his future at Manly.

Barrett has reportedly resigned and will finish up at the Sea Eagles at the end of the season, with the club expected to clarify his position later on Wednesday.

Barrett was an assistant and under-20s coach at the Panthers under Ivan Cleary between 2013 and 2015, and his name has continuously been linked back to the club this season.

However, Panthers general manager Phil Gould reasserted his position that Barrett would not return, after having previously denied such claims this year. "I don't think Trent is going to be there, but he's certainly not coming to Penrith," Gould told Nine's Six Tackles with Gus podcast.

"We've never pursued Trent Barrett, I've never had a discussion with Trent Barrett about coming to Penrith and I won't be having a discussion with Trent Barrett about coming to Penrith.

"We're on a different course and quite comfortable with where we are going." Gould has been a noted fan of Barrett throughout his coaching career and even went as far as to label him as the next super coach in the NRL.

But as it stands, there's some thought that if the Panthers are to elect a younger coach they would likely stick with caretaker Cameron Ciraldo. Gould also maintained his stance that he didn't expect Ivan Cleary to be at the Panthers next year, after the Wests Tigers mentor over the weekend vowed to honour his contract.

Barrett cut his teeth at Penrith.
Barrett cut his teeth at Penrith.

"We have a plan and we know what we're doing," Gould said.

"I'm sure Ivan knows what he's doing. And we just get on with our business." Gould's comments come after prominent Panthers board member Greg Alexander suggested the link between Barrett and Penrith had come from within the Manly club itself.

"My take on this is that the Sea Eagles just want to get rid of Baz and they've been trying to link him with any club they could," he told Macquarie Sports Radio on Wednesday.



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