Penrith Panthers coach Anthony Griffin has spoken glowingly of Dubbo duo Isaah Yeo and Kaide Ellis during a weekly Q&A session.
The NRL club from the foot of the mountain has been hard at work during pre-season training and, according to Griffin, the St John’s juniors have been among the most hard-working.
Griffin was talking during his weekly ‘Ask Hook’ segment on the Panthers official website when he was quizzed about which players have stood out in the build-up to the 2017 season.
“I’d say most of them have, the whole group has been good and training very well,” he started.
“But of the established guys, guys like Bryce Cartwright and Isaah Yeo have come back in good shape and are training well.
“Dylan Edwards has been outstanding both in his skills and conditioning so those three guys are doing very well.”
He then spoke about which younger players have impressed him.
“Corey Waddell is training very well, Kaide Ellis and young Jed Cartwright, who came to us from the (Gold Coast) Titans are really starting to train.”
Ellis was part of the Panthers side which was defeated by the Sydney Roosters in last season’s Holden Cup grand final.
Despite the pain of that defeat, the 100 kilogram, 191 centimetre back-rower enjoyed a season to remember.
He featured heavily for the Panthers 20s while he also got a taste of senior footy in the NSW Cup.
In terms of the season ahead, Griffin said the goal for him and his squad was clear.
“At the moment our simple goal is obvious, like everyone, wanting to be the best team in the competition,” he said to ‘Ask Hook’.