Gutted Gould breaks down in tears
PENRITH boss Phil Gould broke down in tears on Wednesday night as he farewelled departing stars Corey Harawira-Naera and Tyrone Peachey.
Gould said both players were leaving due to salary cap pressure at the club.
Peachey was caught in a contract storm with the Titans after signing a three-year deal but looks set to head north at the end of the season, while Harawira-Naera is moving to the Bulldogs on a mammoth contract finishing in 2022.
"Tyrone Peachey means so much to me, this kid ... I don't even know if I can do this," Gould said at the Panthers' end of season presentation.
"I remember having a conversation with Tyrone, he was playing in the lower grades at Cronulla and we recognised him as a unique talent. At that time, we didn't know which position he was going to play.
"I remember talking to our coach at the time Ivan Cleary. He said what position is he, I said I don't know, just get him out there, something will happen. And that's the way he's played for us right throughout his career.
"At the time, he sat down and he was so humble. He said why are you asking me to come to Panthers? And I said because I believe you're an NRL player of the future and I believe you'll be an Origin player and thankfully both things happened at our club."
Gould said the pair had come a long way after first running on with the Panthers, meaning their value as players had left the club with some tough decisions to make.
"As we improve and players become more valuable, it's going to be harder and harder to keep players," he said.
" ... Those two players meant a lot to me, they'll always be Panthers and they'll always be welcome at this club.
"I'm only buoyed by the fact they got great deals and can set their families up for life with the deals that they have.
"We wish them all the very best of luck."
NSW State of Origin star Tyrone Peachey sent shockwaves around the NRL on Wednesday when he confirmed he wants out of his signed contract with the Gold Coast Titans.
The 27-year-old was under contract with the Panthers through to the end of the 2019 season - but signed a three-year deal with the Titans to begin in 2019.
The Panthers supported his decision to move to the Titans - aware they could not match the huge money on offer.
Peachey confirmed on Wednesday he wants out of the three-year deal reportedly worth $1.5 million and has instructed manager Sam Ayoub to kill the contract.
Peachey's unease at moving to the Titans was first reported earlier this season after he revealed his family was having second thoughts about moving away from their family circles to link up with former Penrith assistant coach Garth Brennan on the Gold Coast.
He said he'd prefer to stay in Penrith and recently bought a house in western Sydney.
"I love this club. They gave me this opportunity to play consistent first grade and I wouldn't have left if I didn't have to," he said.
"We just built in Penrith so my missus is really comfortable at our new place. I spoke to my manager and told him what I wanted to happen.
"I just want to worry about Penrith at the moment and we'll figure it all out. I told him I don't want to talk about it.
"I have my full faith and trust in him making the right decision for me. Wherever I need to be, I'll be."