Sport Cleary takes $200K pay cut to keep off-contract players at Penrith
Nathan Cleary's awful voice exposed in song with UFC star Tai Tuivasa
Nathan Cleary should steer clear of karaoke clubs based on his off-key performance of the Aussie classic What About Me in a promo for the Drink West brewery owned by two UFC fighters.The Penrith Panthers' grand final-winning halfback proved as much by delivering a very off-key rendition of the classic Aussie song What About Me in a new promo for Drink West, the Penrith-based brewery he's invested in.
Nathan Cleary wants Taylan May to be among the first beneficiaries of his decision to take less money to stay at Penrith, adamant the winger belongs at the Panthers.
May is off contract at the end of this year, having already proven himself to be a force in thewith seven tries in his first four games.
He is one of several big names to come off contract at Penrith in the next 18 months, with the likes of Stephen Crichton, Brian To'o, Izack Tago and Liam Martin also due next year.
Penrith legend's heartbreaking question after Alzheimer's diagnosis
When Penrith Panthers legend Royce Simmons was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease his thoughts went immediately to his family. Read the heart-breaking answer his doctor gave him.The grand final winner has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive condition that destroys memory and other cognitive functions. Simmons is just 61.
Cleary's new deal that keeps him at the club until 2027 created headlines this week, with the halfback accepting a contract worth around $200,000 less per year than he could make elsewhere.
It means he will technically take a pay cut when his current deal ends in the years between 2025 and 2027, given he was unable to downgrade his salary on his current contract that runs until 2024.
While that won't immediately help Penrith's cap situation and the fight that no doubt looms to keep May, it will assist the larger long-term jigsaw puzzle to retain both him and other players.
Clearys to extend Panthers NRL contract
Father-son duo Ivan and Nathan Cleary are both expected to announce new NRL contracts with Penrith.The Panthers have called a press conference for Wednesday morning where they are set to announce new contracts for the pair.
'The last thing I wanted was people getting squeezed out because of what I was on,' Cleary said, confirming he had asked for the pay cut.
'It's a hard thing when you're in a successful team, everyone's value goes up and especially people you've grown up with.
'You become good mates with everyone in the team, you don't want to see anyone leave.'
Cleary is adamant May is one of those people he does not want to see exit.
'People like him, young kids who come up through the area, we absolutely want people like him playing for the Panthers,' Cleary said.
'I love playing alongside him and I'd hate for him to play anywhere else.
'He's been a massive surprise packet for the outside world. He's been doing this for the last few years at training.
'He just needed that opportunity and he's taken it with both hands.'
MICHAEL HAGAN: Why Panthers can emulate Eels of the '80s with a rare premiership three-peat
There are a lot of similarities between the current Penrith Panthers machine and the Parramatta Eels sides of their halcyon days of the 1980s. The Panthers are not only capable of defending their title this year, they can become the first team since the Eels in 1981-83 to win three straight premierships. Parra back then had an outstanding crop of young talent including Peter Sterling and local juniors such as Brett Kenny, Steve Ella and Eric Grothe who were guided by experienced natural leaders like Bob O’Reilly, Steve Edge, Ray Price and Mick Cronin. Jack Gibson in his fur coat, the guru for all coaches to follow.
The brother of Cleary's close friend Tyrone May, Taylan found himself in off-field trouble last year with an assault charge on the Sunshine Coast.
It's claimed the 20-year-old was sticking up for Cleary and other teammates when he allegedly dragged another male patron to the ground.
Cleary cannot comment on the incident, but said the flyer was a selfless youngster.
'He's always going to put others above himself,' he said.
'Growing up it's probably got him in a bit of trouble but that's what we love about him.
'He's constantly putting the team first and his brothers ahead of him. He is definitely not a selfish guy.'
Cleary avoids ban over dangerous contact .
Nathan Cleary has avoided an NRL ban for dangerous contact on Billy Walters, with the Penrith star insisting there was no malice in the awkward tackle.Cleary was on Saturday charged with grade-one dangerous contact on Billy Walters, an offence that carries a $1000 fine with an early guilty plea.