Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said Ivan Cleary's breakthrough premiership win on Sunday night validated the club's decision to fight hard for his return in 2018.
Fletcher was among many in western Sydney who watched the final five minutes of Penrith's tense 14-12 grand final win a nervous wreck before enjoying a few quiet beers in lockdown.
He paid tribute to Cleary, who copped wide criticism for his abrupt departure from the Wests Tigers in a bid to coach his son Nathan to premiership glory.
Fletcher was appointed Panthers boss a few months after Cleary had his contract terminated in 2015 and was among those pivotal in his return three years later.
"It probably shows you that we made a mistake the first time by getting rid of him," Fletcher told NRL.com on Monday.
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"But we all make mistakes and got over that. We've learned from it and have now got great success out of it.
"He knew what he had here to work with when he left, he had youth and talent, and he wanted to get back and turn them into a premiership-winning side.
"He's done that and still got plenty of time on his side, as do the players. The squad only averages 24 years of age, there's a lot left for them to build on this win."
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Fletcher said the club will take a "deep breath" before organising any official public celebrations due to the lockdown in NSW and player availability.
Most of the premiership-winning Panthers squad are expected to remain in Queensland for up to a month as part of their annual leave, including the Clearys, with Nathan set to undergo shoulder surgery in Brisbane.
COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be eased as early as next week with Panthers Leagues Club set to re-open for the first time in four months.
Fletcher indicated the club needed more time to plan fan events but hoped to start with photo opportunities of the Telstra Premiership trophy at the club next week.
"We'll plan all our festivities for mid-November to mid-December, including our presentation night," he said.
"It would be nice to have it as soon as we open up again next week but we'll let the boys enjoy the sunshine up there.
"It's been a big year for them and we'll all take some time to reflect. Ivan won't be back until next month and Nathan's going to get operated on to get himself right.
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"We're really hoping to have the trophy back here from next week for fans to come back into the club and get their photo taken with it.
"We'll make it all fan-friendly and a special occasion but for now we'll just take a big breath."
Panthers centre Stephen Crichton, who made his mark on the wing during the finals series for Cleary's side, was looking forward to returning to Sydney's west.
"There's a massive fanbase in Mt Druitt and they were riding [the result] all last night," Crichton said.
"I've seen a few videos and there was police everywhere, especially trying to block off Romey's [Jarome Luai] house, from people who were trying to lay on his grass.
"It's so exciting to be able to do it with the boys, especially from Mounty. We're here for at least the next few days and we'll sort out plans [to return] after that."