Gould denies his Penrith reign a failure

Phil Gould denies his time at Penrith should be considered a failure.
Phil Gould denies his time at Penrith should be considered a failure.

Outgoing Penrith supremo Phil Gould denies his tenure at the foot of the mountains will be remembered as a failure because he failed to oversee an NRL premiership.

Gould is set to part ways with the Panthers after his role of general manager of football was made redundant.

When he took over eight years ago, he spruiked a "five-year plan" to deliver financial stability and establish one of the strongest nurseries in the league.

While he has fulfilled that brief, he has often been criticised for the club's continued title drought, which stretches back to 2003.

They went within a game of making the grand final during Ivan Cleary's first reign in 2014 and have made the second week of the play-offs the last three years.

He pointed to the six lower grade titles the club has won and the work to overhaul their pathways program as proof his tenure had been a success.

"No no no, 2014 was a marvellous result to get through to the top last four," Gould told the Six Tackles with Gus podcast when asked if he regretted not being able to guide the club to a grand final win.

"Since then our junior development was kicked in ... Our team, there has always been great expectation but the reality is, for the last three years, we've had the second youngest roster in the league.

"Yet we've made the finals three times and we've won a semi-final every year."

He said he was nevertheless disappointed to bow out at the hands of the Sharks last year, and the team should have made the grand final.

"Last year I thought we should have beaten the Sharks," Gould said.

"I think we'd have beaten Melbourne the following week too. The Roosters might have been a different prospect."

Gould, a resident of the Shire, has been linked with Cronulla, who - like Penrith when he took over - face a massive rebuild.

He said he had no offers on the table and would concentrate on his media commitments with Channel Nine.

"I've always been very humbled and flattered from enquiries from clubs over the years," Gould said.

"I'm not sure I could ever replicate what we've been able to do at the Panthers.

"I have never considered another situation and it's not in the back of my mind at all. My thought is to let the dust settle."

Gould also denied he was shown the door after losing a powerplay with coach Cleary, having previously sacked him three years earlier.

"I gave him a cuddle and a kiss," Gould said.

"I understand the media doing that, but it's never, ever been an issue with us internally with us at all."

Australian Associated Press