28 Sep 2011

Warriors director laments Cleary's departure

6:42 pm on 28 September 2011

The Warriors director John Hart admits the National Rugby League grand finalists blundered by not signing Penrith-bound coach Ivan Cleary to a long-term deal.

Cleary will join Penrith next season after the Warriors granted him a release from the final year of his contract a decision which grates with the former All Blacks coach.

Hart says having worked with Cleary for six years they are very close and he's disappointed Cleary is leaving.

When first approached by Penrith Cleary asked the Warriors board for some assurances regarding his future at the club beyond next season.

Despite Hart's efforts the Warriors board wouldn't commit beyond 2012 and subsequently agreed to Clearys' request to forgo the final year of his contract to sign a three year deal with Penrtith.

Since announcing his departure Cleary's side has lost just three of their past 12 matches.