Cherrington overcomes injuries to play for Panthers in 2013
NEW Panthers recruit Anthony Cherrington says he is over two crippling knee injuries and, maybe just as importantly, a funny superstition of his.
The Auckland-born Cherrington admitted he harboured fears about wearing the No.11 jersey two years ago, after suffering a second season-ending left knee injury in a trial match.
That bad news followed his absence from the entire 2010 season, after his right knee gave way, also in a trial game.
It was a dramatic fall from grace for the talented back-rower, after he was named in New Zealand's 2008 World Cup training squad.
Not to mention the troubles he has had with ex-partner Monique Mears, with Cherrington fronting up at a very public court appearance in 2009, admitting to an assault charge.
The two have been on and off since then, with Cherrington becoming the father of two of her young kids.
With all that said, the 24-year-old believes a move to Penrith can re-invigorate his career.
"I feel like I'm ready to play first grade. I haven't played at that level for a long time now (since 2009)," he said.
"There was plenty of pressure at the Roosters with all the back-rowers there.
"When I heard they wanted to sign Luke O'Donnell two or three weeks ago I started talking to my manager.
"I feel really comfortable at the Panthers - it's a similar, relaxed environment to the one I had at the Roosters."
Cherrington says he has grown from the lessons he learned through his turbulent relationship, and his own wrongdoings, with Mears.
"I was just young and not very experienced with females back then," he said.
"She was my first girlfriend.
"She's a model, she's very good looking, and I'm a very competitive person too.
"I've grown up and experienced a bit more in life since then."
Panthers general manager Phil Gould is someone who's always believed in Cherrington's ability.
"He commentated my high school grand final way back in 2006 when I played for Endeavour Sports, and he must've seen something decent," Cherrington said.
"Then when I was a Roosters junior, we'd always say hello. He and my manager had some talks about me joining Penrith."
A two-year deal followed, and Gould would be pleased to know that Cherrington is now injury, and superstition-free.
"It's not about the number you wear on your back, it's about the preparation you do," Cherrington said.
"I've been through some ups and downs, but I've been given an opportunity now and I feel like I'm ready to take it.
"My knees feel pretty good - there's always going to be some soreness there, but I've done all the rehab work."