Canterbury Bulldogs star Matt Burton reveals just why he left Penrith Panthers

Leaving the NRL champions for another club must be a difficult choice to make, not least the side that finished with the wooden spoon in 2021.

But, for former Penrith Panthers star Matt Burton, the decision to leave for Canterbury Bulldogs wasn’t too difficult.

Despite three seasons in the mountains, Burton knows that the pressure will be great.

“I know that 100 per cent,” Burton told the Daily Telegraph. “There’s always going to be that pressure, playing in the halves, but I’ve just got to focus on my game and keep getting better.

“I wanted to make this move. To help run a team.

“When I made the call to sign with the club, I was in doubt of playing first grade in the halves, sitting behind Jarome (Luai) and Nathan (Cleary) at Penrith.”

Penrith Panthers legend and board member Greg Alexander has already stated that the club would welcome back Matt Burton if he chose to rejoin.

The 21-year-old won Dally M centre of the year and a premiership with Penrith in 2021 last season before taking up a three-year deal at Canterbury Bulldogs to play at halfback.

However, Alexander revealed that the Panthers would take Burton back if he was willing to play centre.

“Of course they would (have him back),” Alexander said on SEN radio.

“Yeah, of course it would be, he’s a great player to play centre.

“He’d never played centre before, never had he played centre before. He had to learn had to run into space and learn how to perform what he was normally doing one play inside.

“He became the best hole-hitting centre in the game, he would change directions while the ball was coming to him to put himself into space.

“I don’t think anyone realised exactly how fast Matt Burton was last year until he scored a couple of 70 metre tries.

“We’d have him back in a heartbeat.”

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