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Isaah Yeo was something of a trailblazer for the current crop of Penrith Panthers who call the western area home.
The St John's junior made the full-time move from Dubbo to link up with the Panthers' under 20s side in 2013.
Now he headlines a powerful contingent of country juniors who are based at the foot of the mountains and has seen firsthand how beneficial the link between the Panthers and the Western Rams has become.
So while he understands why his club would be reviewing the partnership due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, he hopes there's no long term threat.
Penrith general manager Matt Cameron stated last week he was concerned the club may not be able to focus as much on the development side of things as it has in the past given the near $3 million needed for those programs is funded by the league club.
"There is no guarantee at this point in time that what existed in 2020 will be a carbon copy in 2021," Cameron said.
"At the moment we run seven or eight programs, including what we do in country regions and girls rugby league, and we are reviewing those programs and trying determine are we in a financial program to be able to replicate what we do this year next year."
Speaking on Monday, Yeo was remaining confident the program which has allowed Matt Burton, Billy Burns, Charlie Staines, and so many others to make an impact at Penrith would suffer no lasting damage.
"It's a big thing for myself and a number of other players in this squad," he said.
"There's outside circumstances that might change that and would be disappointing if it did but at the moment that club is doing the best it can to keep themselves growing and if that means cost cutting in certain areas then it has to happen.
"But I think in the long run and once it gets back to normal, I think it will be a major factor in their development again and obviously it is important for people out there."
The link between the Panthers and the Rams was formed in 2017 and since then a huge number of juniors and coaches have benefited from the expertise, guidance, and training systems provided by the NRL club.
The Panthers have helped run annual academy programs in Dubbo, Forbes and Bathurst.
"Even if it is for the meantime I think it will get back to where it is now," Yeo said.
"Obviously you don't want to see it happen but everyone has to make decisions now about what's best for the immediate future and worry about outside stuff after that.
"It's extremely important for myself and I'm sure it will get back to where it was."
Yeo's attention now turns to matters on the field as the Panthers return to action on Sunday when they tackle the Newcastle Knights.
Yeo was part of the starting lineup in both matches as the Panthers started their season two-from-two before all play was temporarily suspended.