Griffin gets new Panthers deal
Penrith have given coach Anthony Griffin a two-year contract extension, after making the semi-finals last season.
Griffin will stay in charge at least until the end of the 2020 NRL season, club boss Phil Gould confirmed.
The former Broncos mentor became just the second coach in Panthers history to lead them to consecutive finals appearances this year.
Gould said he had had a wonderful start to his term with the club.
"It's the first time we've been in back-to-back finals for something like 15 years, and only for the third time in the club's history," he added. "He's been rewarded with an extension of his contract until the year 2020; he brings a lot of great qualities to our club."
He brings a lot of great qualities to our club.Phil Gould
Griffin coached Brisbane from 2011 to 2014, winning 54 of his 101 games in charge.
Since moving to the Panthers on an initial three-year deal he has posted a 58 per cent winning record.
Penrith finished seventh on the ladder this year, then beat the Sea Eagles 22-10 in their elimination final at Allianz Stadium. But they were dumped out in the semi-finals, losing 13-6 to his former club Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Griffin may not have skipper Matt Moylan in his ranks next season as the five-eighth, who has been on personal leave since the start of the finals series, is believed to want a move.
Meanwhile, Gould says the club have a good two-year window in which to claim a premiership.
Only six of next year's 30-man squad have come from outside their own program, so he says there will be no need to recruit from elsewhere provided they can retain their current players.
"It's a fact of life that salary cap will erode into this," added Gould. "As I've said to all the players, as soon as one of you wants a few more dollars, someone else has got to go; if someone else wants a few more dollars, that's another that's got to go.
"But our window of opportunity over the next two years when we don't have to recruit from outside, and we don't have to lose a player, gives this team and this club an opportunity to do something really special. I want to see it happen with this group of people."
Penrith are 12/1 to win the 2018 grand final.
The Panthers are 4/7 to finish in the top eight.
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