He grew up in Orange barracking for the Bulldogs but CYMS star Angus Thompson might want to think about switching to the Panthers after the 15-year-old signed a three-year deal with the men in black.
The back-rower visited Forbes as part of a Combined Catholic College program, and peaked the interest of a Penrith scout on game day.
It didn't take long for the two parties to get in touch and bring Thompson one step closer to his NRL dream.
Also linking with Penrith's under-16s squad was Bloomfield duo Connor Vardanega and Kaydden Hoad.
Thompson will take part in an off-season training camp with Penrith where he'll try to survive a roster cut from 40 to 20 players.
Unlike the Tigers' pair, Thompson isn't turning 16 until next year, meaning he's got an additional season to crack the squad, making his selection all the more impressive.
"It's going to be an awesome experience," Thompson said.
"The goal for me is to try to play in the NRL when I'm older."
Thompson first picked up a footy in the under 6s and has spent the majority of his career in the forward pack.
As a result of that, he's tried to mold his game around fellow Central West gun, Josh Jackson.
"I also like Isaah Yeo too," he said.
Thompson has clearly stood out in the Central West ranks, but says there's still so much he needs to improve on.
"I'd like to know where to go in defence and get a little better at making reads," he said.
"I always want to learn some new plays in attack and get better at that."
COVID-19 has put a slight hold on proceedings, but Thompson is expecting to be contacted by the club soon before he competes for a spot on the 16s side.
"If I don't make the squad this year, I've got another chance to come next year," he said.
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