Paul Momirovski’s iconic swap with Harry Grant in 2020 might’ve been the stepping stone needed for one of the best moves in the 24-year-old’s four-year career, now heading to Penrith for the 2021 season.
Momirovski headed south of the border 12 months ago, with Grant going the other way in a swap-loan deal with the Storm.
While Grant gained all the plaudits following a dazzling season with Wests, Momirovski’s achievements in Melbourne flew under the radar, scoring four tries from six matches.
Swapping with Daine Laurie from the Panthers, Momirovski is already starting to see the benefits arising from the new atmosphere.
“There is talent all over the park [at the Panthers], it’s an outstanding team. They’re young and hungry and after one day I’ve noticed everyone just comes in and does their job,” Momirovski told the The Sydney Morning Herald.
“There’s no complaining. They come in and do their work. It’s good. It’s a good environment. There are good signs … this is definitely a place that will be successful for a while.”
The Panthers are currently premiership favourites and Momirovski may just make the cut this year after missing selection for the Storm’s 2020 Grand Final winning side.
The former Rooster will be hoping to break pass Brent Naden and Matt Burton in a right-centre position in 2021 after telling the Herald that there are players within Penrith that will help him develop to become a strong centre.
Momirovski debuted for the Chooks’ 9’s in 2017 and currently has a 100% tackle efficiency.
As also reported by the Herald on Monday, Momirovski had talks with the Tigers over the summer asking to be released to expand his opportunities.
“Having conversations with the club and coaching staff and seeing where the club was at, I decided the best thing for me was to try and take up an opportunity elsewhere,” Momirovski said.
“It’s fine, clubs do their thing, it’s a business, there’s no bad blood. I left on good terms and there’s no spite or angst – it was a business decision that was best for both parties.”
Laurie is also seeing the benefits, with the move potentially making him a regular No. 1 at the Tigers as opposed to only a mere development plan at Penrith.
Momirovski, however, will finally be lucky enough to experience first-hand Ivan Cleary’s coaching skills after just missing out in 2019 when Clearly left the Tigers.
“Now it’s come full circle with Ivan,” Momirovski said.
“It’s good it’s happened now. It’s exciting. It’s good to finally be coached by Ivan.”
Momirovski is now entering his fourth year playing NRL and his fourth team but stated he doesn’t mind the switch as it benefits his future playing career.
“I thought about that [number of clubs] myself, but I’ve only ever made decisions based on opportunity,” he said.