Posted By Staff Reporter
AN offer is expected from Penrith Panthers this week for decisions whether Kumuls utility Wellington Albert joins the Sydney-based NRL club next year.
There is also considerable interest from three other NRL clubs, Gold Coast Titans, South Sydney and West Tigers, those dealing with Albert’s fledging rugby league career, have as alternate possible options.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League acting chief executive Brad Tassell said on Thursday from Brisbane where he was attending a series of meetings that Albert was on his way back to Port Moresby following “extremely positive” discussions with the Panthers.
The rush of interest in the 20-year-old comes on the back of Albert’s tour with the Kumuls to the just ended World Cup in England.
Coach Adrian Lam decided to throw the young man into the pool match against New Zealand Kiwis and Albert delivered with an “eye-catching” performance scoring a try in the Kumuls 48-10 loss.
It seems his agent Steve Deacon has been a busy man in the last few weeks marketing the young man’s potential to NRL clubs.
Last Tuesday, Albert flew Sydney to meet with Deacon to hold talks with Panthers chief Phil Gould and coach Ivan Cleary.
Albert, who stands at 191cm and tips the scales at 102kg, is seen as a future top line footballer that can reach his potential at an NRL club set up.
Albert returned to Port Moresby on Thursday to re-join the PNG Queensland Cup training camp.
The three-week camp, started last Monday at Bomana Police college at which coach Michael Marum was expected to use to trim down his 50-member squad to 25.
“Discussions were extremely positive with Wellington, his agent, Phil Gould and Ivan Cleary from Penrith,” PNGRFL CEO Brad Tassell said.
“We are expecting an offer next week (this week) from them.”
“There is also considerable interest from the West Tigers, Titans and South Sydney,” he said.
“So it will take a bit of time to weigh up what is the best situation for Wellington.”