Trent Barrett has made a stunning return to coaching after agreeing on a deal to move back to Penrith as an assistant to Ivan Cleary from 2020.
Barrett infamously had a falling out with the Panthers coach in 2015 after signing for the lead job at Manly for three seasons, with the fallout between the two revolving around the poaching of Panther players.
With a few months still remaining on his contract as an assistant at Penrith, Barrett was told not to return to training by Cleary following the disruption.
Since Barrett’s tenure with the Sea Eagles, he and Cleary have shown their forgiveness, with the Panthers coach suggesting the club welcomes back the former St George Illawarra captain.
Barrett will work alongside assistant Cameron Ciraldo as the pair work on the development of the clubs young halves and back to bolster their offense.
Barrett will face a tolling introduction to the role, as the Panthers lose experienced half James Maloney to Super League outfit Catalans Dragons.
Barrett’s last role with the Panthers included a heavy involvement with the club’s halves academy, producing the likes of Nathan Cleary, Tyrone May and Jarome Luai.
The Panthers’ attack has fallen under immense criticism in Cleary’s return season to the club, ranking as the worst between the top eight sides.
Penrith rank as the fourth-worst attacking side this year, despite having a number of Origin-standard halves within their squad.
Barrett’s return to the Panthers comes several weeks after his contract with Manly expired, having been paid out by the Sea Eagles after resigning from his post at the end of last season.