Naden latest Panther to join Canterbury

·2-min read

Brent Naden is poised to become the third Penrith player to follow Trent Barrett to Canterbury, with the centre set to sign a two-year deal with the Bulldogs.

Naden is yet to play first grade this year after Penrith suspended him for the first four rounds following his positive drug test after last year's grand final.

But he has quickly become a target for several Sydney clubs, with the Bulldogs leading the charge for the 25-year-old after Barrett was his assistant coach at Penrith.

Naden follows Jack Hetherington's move to Canterbury at the end of last year, while Matt Burton has also been a high-profile recruit for next season.

"If hypothetically he did go, it would be sad because he is a good player and the Dogs are getting themselves someone good there," fullback Dylan Edwards said.

"He's a great guy, great footy player as everyone knows. He is something everyone is looking for as a strike outside back."

Barrett can now lay claim to being one of the game's great salesmen, having led Canterbury's club's recruitment drive for the past nine months.

Naden will join a backline that includes the incoming Josh Addo-Carr as well Nick Cotric, Corey Allan and a likely shift from Jake Averillo.

Ironically, their biggest issue of hooker was also set to be filled by Api Koroisau at the end of 2019, before Barrett convinced him to play under him at Penrith.

"He does pretty well. He's a smooth talker Baz," Koroisau said.

"But he's also a great coach. A lot of the boys would love to play under him and I can see why they're going back there as well."

Koroisau quipped that it was "torture" that Naden would be leaving the club.

"He's worked incredibly hard to get to where he is today," Koroisau said.

"He's an incredible player, and I can say why so many people wanted him."

The Panthers still have Stephen Crichton and Paul Momirovski in their centres for next year.