Steve Georgallis to be Tim Sheens right-hand man

Penrith Panthers caretaker coach Steve Georgallis will continue his career under Tim Sheens at Wests Tigers next year.

Wests Tigers have extended Georgallis a formal offer, and the coach will finalise a contract to be Tim Sheens’s right-hand man in the coming weeks.

After being overlooked in favour of Ivan Cleary for the top role at Penrith, Georgallis has fielded interest from UK Super League clubs.

But he was never keen to leave NRL and shift his young family from Sydney, despite declaring his desire to graduate from assistant coaching after a lengthy apprenticeship under former Penrith Panthers mentor Matt Elliott.

Having lost experienced assistants Royce Simmons and Steve Folkes, the Tigers were on the prowl for a relatively high-profile understudy to Sheens.

Georgallis says the deal doesn’t necessarily rule him out of the vacant Canterbury-Bankstown job for 2012.

“If a first-grade opportunity came up and I was still assistant at Wests Tigers, obviously they would let me go,” Georgallis said.

“I’m pretty sure of that.”

One top jobs is vacant in the NRL…the Bulldogs position vacated by Kevin Moore.

Asked if he’d spoken with the Bulldogs, Georgallis said he hadn’t “personally” and didn’t know whether his manager had.

“Obviously they’re looking at coaches for next year and obviously there’s still that opportunity there if that arises as well,” he said.

Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg has cast his net wide to fill the position occupied by Jim Dymock, and he has said he would interview around a dozen candidates – including New South Wales State of Origin coach Ricky Stuart.

Georgallis took the helm at the Panthers after Matt Elliott’s mid-season departure and, despite being told he was being given an audition for the top job, it was announced Cleary would be his replacement little more than a week afterwards.

Georgallis said he’d only been made aware of the job at the Tigers on Tuesday night.

“My manager’s looking through it today and then hopefully that’s finalised in the next one or two weeks,” he said.

“It’s good news for me and my family.

“It’s a great club and a club I’ve been involved with most of my career with the West Magpies and the first year of the Wests Tigers.

“I’m really looking forward to going back there.”

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