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Phil Gould Brutally Sledges Brad Fittler And We Can't Stop Laughing

Ha! Nobody saw THAT coming...

As the saga of Phil "Gus" Gould departing his eight-year role as general manager of football at the Panthers continues, Gould has ripped into fellow Panthers legend Brad Fittler in the most amusing way.

Gould has a long association with Fittler, having coached him to a premiership at the Panthers, and to NSW State of Origin glory, in the early 1990s.

Fittler is, of course, NSW coach now -- and a rare successful one at that -- and there is actually great respect between the two league legends.

So when Channel 10 network sports editor (and self-described former "struggling slow fullback") Andrew McKinlay interviewed Gould in a 10 News First exclusive yesterday, he naturally asked whether he'd consider a mentoring role with Fittler in the Origin squad.

You could see the cheeky twinkle in Gould's eye before the words came out.

"Who for? Brad Fittler???

"I couldn't control him when he was playing, I don't know if I could control him when he was coaching!"

Gold. Genuine Gus Gould gold.

Gus actually went on to say some really nice things about Fittler.

"Brad Fittler's very very smart. He's got it all worked out at the NSW Origin level... and I hope he coaches that side for a very long time."

You Blue-ty! Fittler celebrates winning the 2018 Origin series after game two in Sydney. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

In terms of what Gould will do next, the picture is unclear.

"I'm just going to let the dust settle for the time bring and keep throwing myself into the media work which I love.

"At the moment I've got no real plans. I've never planned anything in my life, I've just sort of bumbled through life. I've been very blessed to have had the life I've had."

Gould wouldn't say a definite "no" to the prospect of being involved with an NRL club again, but he gave a pretty strong hint, saying "it would be hard to replicate and start again what we did at Panthers".

READ MORE: Phil 'Gus' Gould Quits Penrith Panthers

Meanwhile, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary spoke to the media this morning and denied there was a rift between him and Gould, despite reports that the two fell out over recruitment decisions.

"There’s no falling out. Never has been. I’ve known Gus for almost 25 years, he’s been a huge part in my life and my career as a player and a coach," Cleary said.

"There were no blow-ups. I’ve never had a blow-up with Gus in my life actually. I know it seems like a nice narrative but Gus has always said that this role he’s in will come to an end at some point."

The history between the two is interesting, to say the least. Gould actually sacked Cleary in 2015, terminating his first stint as Panthers coach.