with the loss by Souths last night, they are the second team who have been Grand Finalists as with Eels in the last 2 years and failed to even make the 8 this year.
Says a lot about what is “under the hood” at Panthers IMO
Many many times in previous posts on this forum i held out Storm as a benchmark we as a club needed to aspire to and to become.
What Cleary has done at Panthers is simply remarkable and now the players, club and all involved are being held to that higher standard.
This was evidenced by the collapse of Souths and the Eels this year with some other standouts like Cowboys, Sharks who are struggling to maintain what they did last year let alone over a longer period.
Its fascinating and uplifting to see what Cleary has done to reshape the club culture, remodel how the team plays and importantly keep the club clean of trouble.
Its the sum of parts from the back office to the front office, trainers, all medical staff down to coaches and players to do this, it doesn’t happen by the action of any one person but one person must demand it of the entire club.
Its early days to measure us against what Bellamy has done at the Storm but we need to remain committed to this benchmark which will set Panthers up for years to come and for sponsors and fans to enjoy what so many of us “old heads” have hoped for with a few false starts over the years with intermittent success.
We are enjoying success as we have never seen before at Panthers, and i have seen from the down and out days to those glory wins, but this is a success so sweet it puts a smile on my face as i write this.
Cleary has done something magical at Panthers, whatever he has done under the hood please may he continue to do it.
Maybe one day Cleary will write a book about what he has done and how he has done it but i hope that time is a way off and he continues to tinker under the hood to get the optimum out of the Panther machine.