CONFIRMED: Ivan Cleary Announced As New Penrith Panthers Coach

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CONFIRMED: Ivan Cleary Announced As New Penrith Panthers Coach AAP

After months of speculation, it's official - the Penrith Panthers have confirmed the signing of Ivan Cleary as their new head coach on a five-year deal. 

The news was revealed in a statement posted to the club's website, in which Cleary said he was drawn back to Penrith after feeling like he had "unfinished business" there.

"I am honoured to be back as head coach of Panthers and very much look forward to being part of the future journey," the 47-year-old said.

"Personally I had a feeling of unfinished business with a club and a community that my family and I enjoy a strong connection with, from grassroots through to NRL players, staff and management.

"We have raised our family in the community for a number of years and are proud to call it home."

Cleary also thanked Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe and Chair Marina Go for their professionalism after months of speculation as to whether or not he would be heading back to the foot of the mountains.

"I am very fond of Wests Tigers and all its people," he added. "I enjoyed my time there and it is a club heading in the right direction."

Brian Fletcher, Panthers Group CEO, admitted that the board was "delighted" to have the former head coach back for another five years.

"The talent and depth in our playing squad means our club is well-placed to push for a premiership and we believe Ivan is the coach to take us there," Fletcher said.

"Our players and staff have always maintained immense respect for Ivan, which speaks volumes about the quality of his character.

"It is with a renewed sense of excitement that we look forward to the 2019 NRL season and beyond."

Cameron Ciraldo and Peter Wallace have also been confirmed as assistant coaches for the 2019 season.

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