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2007 season preview: Penrith Panthers
The Penrith Panthers head into the 2007 with a new coach, a new attitude and renewed enthusiasm which is hoped will usher in a new era in Panthers history. The 2005 and 2006 seasons were by all accounts unacceptable in Panthers territory with the team being too inconsistent, too lazy and too big. These were seasons the Panthers were expected to perform and did not, meaning the release of Grand Final winning coach John Lang and several players.
At the start of the 2006 season, Penrith management made headlines for their decision to sack Lang before a football has been kicked. In his place they choose former Canberra coach Matthew Elliot in what was seen by many as a puzzling decision. However, during the year, Elliot once again proved his credentials by taking a nothing Canberra team to the finals when all and sundry picked them for the spoon.
This season is a rebuilding one for the men from the mountains which will see a lot of younger players brought into first grade along with bringing in some guys who are looking to rejuvenate their careers. It is also an important season for some representative hopefuls who wish to reclaim their spots.
Luke Rooney in particular is a player who has been disappointing for the last two seasons and is desperate to reclaim his rep jerseys. He has been working extremely hard in the off-season and has been reported to be the