Moylan admits shock over Panthers exit

Matt Moylan said he’d long thought he’d spend his entire NRL career at Penrith and was shocked at the prospect of leaving his junior club.

Speaking for the first time publicly about his departure from Penrith on Sunday, Moylan denied speculation he had any issue with Panthers coach Anthony Griffin.

The 26-year-old’s departure from Penrith has been one of the key talking points of the summer, after he sat out last year’s finals series for personal reasons.

Moylan avoided questions on that matter on Sunday, but claimed he only learned of Shane Flanagan and Phil Gould’s plan to swap he and fellow star five-eighth James Maloney on the same day it was revealed in the media.

“I was probably a bit shocked by it but at the same time I’m looking forward to a new opportunity at a new club,” he said.

“It all happened pretty quick from when I found out to when I signed here was all within a couple of days. I think I found out the same day it was in the media.”

Moylan will make his Cronulla debut on Friday night in round one against North Queensland, five years after playing his first game for Penrith.

“I grew up out there,” he said.

“I was pretty fortunate to start my career out there, and I was grateful for the opportunity they gave me.

“To be honest I never thought it would come to a stage where I would leave.

“But that’s footy and I’ve moved on and looking to play some good footy at Cronulla.”

Pressed further on the matter and why the time had suddenly now come to leave Penrith, Moylan said his departure was as much about his development on the field as it was off it..

‘Just to develop as a player and try and play the footy I wanted to and to grow as a person as well,” he said.

“It was probably best for me personally to move on and get a new challenge and a new outlook at a different club.”

Moylan’s attacking mindset will change upon his arrival at the Sharks.

A fullback for the first four years of his NRL career, Moylan will be given the freedom to sweep on both sides of the field alongside No.1 Valentine Holmes, while Chad Townsend controls the direction of the team at halfback.

“The way Chaddy plays he plays on the ball a lot and it gives me the freedom to roam around both sides of the field. I enjoy that,” he said.

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