Head coach Ivan Cleary talks with Russel Packer of the Warriors ahead of the NRL trial match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Waikato Stadium on February 16, 2013 in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Head coach Ivan Cleary talks with Russel Packer of the Warriors ahead of the NRL trial match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Waikato Stadium on February 16, 2013 in Hamilton, New Zealand. Hannah Johnston / Getty Images

Warriors' Taylor chooses bright future with generous club

HARD-WORKING Warriors utility Eljah Taylor hasn't signed a three-year-deal with Penrith specifically to re-unite with former coach Ivan Cleary, or because of what the Panthers are producing on the field.

And he isn't heading to the foot of the mountains after this season because he was disappointed Tony Iro didn't get the top job at the Warriors.

It's what Panthers general manager of football Phil Gould is creating off the field through the $850 million Mulgoa Rd development that attracted the interest of Taylor and his manager Ian Miles.

"Gus (Gould) has been highly proactive in this project - attracting the involvement of government, ethnic affairs, university and a host of others," Miles said.

"It'll be a state-of-the-art elite sports preparation facility as good as pretty much anything in the world. The opportunity to join the amazing developments at the Panthers is compelling."

Miles, who also works as a mental coach for professional athletes, and has done the same with Taylor, said the gifted utility was also a talent off the field.

"Elijah likes to create music; he's about to begin a university course in that field," Miles said.

"He previously studied physical education at tertiary level and he is taking an increasing interest in the commercial world since he began working with sponsors, companies and other organisations."

And on the field, why did the Panthers go to such great lengths to lure the three-time Kiwi international?

"Penrith has a deep and very exciting pool of talent coming through the ranks at under-20, 18, 16 and lower levels," Miles said.

"I think Penrith sees him as a player to teach these young guys about attitude, commitment and dedication."
 


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