Earl keen to stick to club

AN INVIGORATED Sandor Earl is ready to fight for his right to keep wearing the Penrith Panthers jersey.

He wants it not just for the rest of this season but also for next year and beyond.

The off-contract Panthers winger has been playing for the Windsor Wolves since his last appearance for the Panthers in round two.

He will return to the side in the No.5 jumper against the Titans on Sunday.

Ear, who is in contract negotiations, said the revival of his first grade career was perfectly timed.

"Over the coming weeks with this chance, it'll become obvious if I stay or look somewhere else," he said.

"Penrith is definitely my priority because they gave me an opportunity and I do love the place.

"But at this point my options are open and my manager is doing all he can to find the best option. And there's definitely some interest."

After a reconstruction to both shoulders last year, Earl said it was difficult to prove to a new coach his first grade worth.

"When Ivan [Cleary] first came over, I didn't get the opportunity to show him a lot and it's been like that since," he said.

"But hopefully I'll make an impact each week from here until the end of the season.

"Ivan set me a few tasks at Windsor and over the last few weeks I've reached them and really found some good form that I'm looking to bring and contribute to first grade.

"It's a chance to do a 360 from where I've come from — I had a good rise and then injury but now I feel really good about my footy."

The 22-year-old said it "took a bit longer than I would have liked" to return to top tier football and said it'd been difficult to "watch the team and watch it change without me being involved."

"I thought I'd come back from injury and it wouldn't be too bad but it was definitely a lot harder than I thought" he said. "I had to get the physicalness back, which I might have lost mentally from the shoulders, and just work on the little things.

"I was lucky enough to be captain with Windsor, worked on my carries and defence and just hit really good form that I want to show in the NRL."

Earl said he'd had fears he'd never break into Cleary's first grade line-up.

"But I knew I was doing everything I could," he said.

"There's always that feeling of when's it going to happen but I can pat myself on the back for staying mentally strong, putting all those negative thoughts into positive stuff and playing harder each week."

"And I'm glad I'm here now."

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