New skipper Moylan ready for halves
New Panthers skipper Matt Moylan certainly has a lot on his plate ahead of Penrith's first full-blown game for the year against the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.
Moylan's first game as Panthers captain will coincide with his first taste of rugby league since May after he severely injured ankle ligaments.
Not only that, but Moylan says the Bulldogs trial will also hail his first foray into the halves since his school days playing for St Patrician Brothers.
Moylan is planning to play 20 minutes at fullback and 20 minutes in the halves, and is confident of handling all the roles in is comeback game.
"I'm just pretty excited to get out there and play. I've always been pretty confident with what I can do so I think it'll help me mature as a football player," Moylan said.
"I know what my role is in the team, and the boys know what their role is so I think it will be a pretty easy transition [as captain]. I don't want to change too much; I just want to remain the same person I was before."
Moylan isn't anticipating any drastic changes in his quarter of football playing in the halves either.
"Obviously being in the front line at five-eighth I'll be doing a bit more defending so that's probably going to be the only difference for me," Moylan said.
"[Playing in the halves] is something I have been working on over the off-season so to get out there during the pre-season and play will be good.
"I just want to get out there and play some good footy. I haven't played for that long so I'm just trying to find some form and build the season from there."
As for the early comparisons that have been made between him and legendary fullback-turned-five-eighth Darren Lockyer, Moylan – who only made his NRL debut three years ago – insists it's never been a distraction.
"To be compared to someone like him is massive. I think he's one of the best players who has ever played the game. I'm a long way from that," he said.
"I'm only starting out and want to get out there and play some good footy. I never really read too much into it [when I was younger]. I knew I was only early into my career, and was more focused on cementing a spot in first grade."
Meanwhile back-rower Isaah Yeo was thrilled to ink a new three-year deal with the club on Thursday, seeing him remain at the club until at least 2019.
"I'm here for another four seasons now [including 2016] so I think I'll be here at least until I'm 25. It's good to have that security. It's been my home since I was 17 so I'm very excited for the future and being able to share it with my best mates here," Yeo said.
"It's a huge positive. Obviously with the two trials coming up I'm now really looking forward to cementing a spot in the top 17, and in the back row there's four world class athletes so it's a matter about finding a spot in the team now."