Ivan Cleary

Phil Gould has confirmed the appointment of Ivan Cleary as head coach of the Penrith Panthers for the next three seasons.

Gould, Penrith’s general manager of football, will hold a press conference at 11am after the New Zealand Warriors announced that Cleary was leaving the club at the end of the season to join the Panthers.

“This is a wonderful result for the club and marks the beginning of a new era for the Penrith Panthers,” Gould said.

While Cleary was contracted until the end of the 2012 season, Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah said both parties had agreed on an early release enabling Cleary to take up a three-year contract as Penrith’s new coach.

Warriors players were informed of Cleary’s departure at a meeting this morning, but the club is yet to announce a replacement.

Cleary’s assistant Toy Iro and former Kiwis coach Brian McClennan are the favourites.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald