League: Cleary critique irks Jennings

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary.  Photo / NZ Herald
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary. Photo / NZ Herald

Star Sydney Roosters NRL recruit Michael Jennings says he is disappointed with Penrith coach Ivan Cleary's stinging assessment that he was released because he wasn't living up to his lofty wage.

Cleary said the Panthers released their highest-paid player from the final three seasons of his A$650,000 a year contract because he wasn't providing value for money.
"The bottom line is that when your highest-paid asset is not bringing the return you need, then something's got to give," Cleary said.

Jennings, 24, said yesterday it hurt to read Cleary's blunt assessment of his attitude and output in his final season at the Panthers.

"Reading the papers today I saw that all in the paper," Jennings said.
"Ivan is entitled to his own opinion but I don't want to get too much into that.
"... It is disappointing hearing that. Like I said, he's entitled to his opinion."
The Panthers finished second last with just eight wins in 2012.

During last year Jennings was dropped to reserve grade by Cleary - despite playing in all three State of Origin games for NSW.

"I like Penrith and I've still got a soft spot for them, but my time is here at the Roosters now and I want to move forward," he said.


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