Penrith coach Anthony Griffin had a lot to do with Dale Copley's development as an NRL player during his time at the Broncos.
That's why the Panthers could be a surprise player in the battle for the unwanted Bronco, who has been told to find another NRL club following the signing of former Gold Coast flyer James Roberts.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett had told Copley he would inherit former centre Justin Hodges' position next season, but when Roberts came onto the open market after a contract wrangle with the Titans, he became a prime target.
Griffin, who coached Copley in the NYC Under 20 competition, and guided his early years in the NRL when he was head coach at the Broncos, is looking for someone to replace centre Jamal Idris, and the 24-year-old Aspley junior fits the bill.
Fortunately for Copley, a number of other clubs, including Parramatta, Melbourne, Wests Tigers and premier North Queensland, are also very interested in him.
Cowboys coach Paul Green was at the Broncos as a recruitment and development officer when Copley first arrived as a 15-year-old.
And in what would be a strange twist, the Gold Coast could also make a play for Copley to replace Roberts.
The Titans, who offered Roberts a new upgraded deal after his contract dispute allowed him to go onto the open market, would be filthy he has joined an NRL club which is just 75 kilometres up the highway.
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