Port Adelaide and the Penrith Panthers are set to break down the code-barrier by setting up a revolutionary new partnership, according to reports.
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The AFL and NRL clubs have established a partnership with the hopes of sharing information to become the premier sides of their respective competitions, Fairfax Media report.
Port Adelaide chairman David Koch visited the Panthers during the off-season, while Penrith coach Ivan Cleary and his coaching staff are due to travel to Alberton in May.
The AFL and NRL have long been enemies, but Panthers chief executive Justin Pascoe said the partnership would allow his club to see how the Power structures its training programs.
“It will give us a look into how an AFL team structures their football program,” Pascoe told Fairfax Media.
“The biggest attraction that both Ivan and myself realised that Port coach Ken Hinkley shares similar values around work ethic, discipline and humility – all the things we pride our football program on as well.”
It’s not the first time the Panthers have attempted to join forces with a rival sporting code after they made enquiries about purchasing A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers in 2013.
Pascoe says Port Adelaide were interested in discussing just how the Panthers chief executive Warren Wilson turned the club into a profitable organisation.
“The way Warren’s transformed the business into a profitable organisation is something Port Adelaide indicated very early as a reason they wanted to open up discussions with us about this partnership,” Pascoe said.
“It is our collective responsibility to make sure that we are opening ourselves up to opportunities that exist across other elite organisations where best practice exists. Port Adelaide represents one of those elite organisations.
“One of the most attractive aspects of the Port Adelaide organisation was the on and off-field successes they’ve had within their organisation over the past five years and the synergies that represent what our transformation has been.”
Port Adelaide have struggled to back up its superb 2014 season, losing both its opening games to Fremantle and Sydney.
The Panthers have had a mixed start to the NRL season with a 3-3 record and currently sit seventh on the NRL ladder.