MATT Moylan’s departure from the Panthers has been big news for the club over the off-season and losing your captain obviously leaves a hole that needs to be filled.
Moyser was one of our best players and he did a great job for us while he was here but with James Maloney joining the club we’re in a great position to fill the leadership void.
Peter Wallace has captained the club before and he’s a great leader. Isaah Yeo would also have to be up there when Anthony Griffin starts to think about appointing a captain.
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I’ve been at the club for a couple of seasons now and I feel comfortable in my own skin as a senior player in the side.
If Hook was to ask me to lead the side out it would be an absolute honour and I would love to take the job but it’s not a goal that really drives me.
Whether I’m captain or not, my job doesn’t change. I’ll lead by example in the best way possible and that’s all I can focus on.
BUSTING THE HOOK MYTH
The funny thing about all the reports on Moyser falling out with Hook at the end of last season was that it wasn’t something that was really noticed or spoken about within the group.
We were all focused on one thing and one thing only and that was putting in the best performances we could muster on the field to take us as far as possible in the finals series.
I thought we did that and were able to achieve some really good results that have set us up for a big season in 2018, although we obviously would have loved to have gone further.
What I will say about Hook is that any perception that he has man management issues out here at Penrith is absolute rubbish.
Hook’s a great coach and he definitely knows how to get the boys going. He’s always in control of the dressing room and he’s the kind of coach who is really respected by the players.
It’s a brutal game that we play, it’s full of personalities and there’s going to be highs, there’s going to be lows.
But if you can keep yourself planted and you know who you are and stand between the lines of yourself and you see the bigger picture moving forward, no matter what goes on around you, you’re pretty much in a good place.
You only have to look at the working relationship Hook and Peter Wallace have got now.
Wally left the Broncos while Hook was the coach there but he’s been a key player and a senior player in the Penrith side before and since Hook’s arrival here.
If you fall out with someone and you can see the bigger picture you mend things so you can move forward.
Sometimes you’ve got to be the bigger person in our industry but it just goes to show the sort of person Peter Wallace is.
He’s a half, now he’s playing hooker and whatever situation gets thrown at him he manages to work around it and set a positive example.
GETTING BACK INTO ORIGIN
That’s the attitude we should all be taking, to train hard, work hard off the field and put our best foot forward to earn success for our club.
When it comes to making representative sides there’s no point in focusing on anything other than playing your best football for your club.
I was in the Kangaroos side for the Four Nations last year and for the Test at the start of this year and I loved every minute of being in that environment and playing at that level.
But there was no envy there for me watching them blitz the World Cup and then win a hard-fought final.
The opposite actually, I was very proud of the boys, especially blokes like Reagan Campbell-Gillard.
For him to get a taste of it and get a position in that squad is something incredible and as soon as he got the call up I knew he would succeed and make an impact in the tournament.
Obviously you want to be part of it, you want to play in it and enjoy the wins, it’s the best feeling in the world, but I did my knee at the back end of the season, so there was no hard feelings.
For me, the next step is to get back into the NSW side, which I’ve missed out on for the last couple of years.
If I get that jersey it will be on the back of playing some really good footy for the Panthers and I’ll be very proud to be involved.
I reckon it’s a really exciting time for NSW at the moment.
We’ve been in a good position the last few years it’s just about the little things now. I think the base is there, it’s just about tweaking it and getting it done.
We were really close this year and I was a bit surprised we didn’t get it done. It just wasn’t meant to be.
I think Freddy’s going to be a great coach for the Blues, with the staff that he’s bringing in as well.
He’s played at the highest level and he’s a legend of the game. He loves rugby league and NSW so I think he’s going to do everything he possibly can to get the job done.