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A Sharks team with 12 of their starting 13 backing up from 2013 and with a new head coach guiding their fortunes, will begin their 2014 campaign determined to start on a winning note.

An experienced squad, with potentially 15 of the 17 players on Monday night having played at this level before, incoming coach David Howlett has many of the ingredients at his disposal for a successful 2014, beginning with his teams season opener against the Titans.

With Valentine Holmes at fullback, Fa’amanu Brown at number seven and the highly rated Jaden Clarke his halves partner at five eighth, the Sharks appear to have the attacking weapons necessary to strongly challenge the leading teams.

In the forwards local De La Salle junior Kurt Dillon, with two seasons of NYC football under his belt, will lead the charge, alongside him country boy Jake Goodwin who impressed with his pre-season trial form.

In charge of the under-20 Sharks will be Dave Howlett, the Endeavour Sports High School head coach stepping up to the NYC after coaching of the Sharks SG Ball squad through the early rounds of the current season.

Over the past three seasons Howlett has coached the SG Ball team to places in the finals and after three games into their 2014 campaign the under-18 Sharks were sitting towards the top of the competition ladder after registering two wins and a draw.

Howlett replaces interim coach Tony Herman, who reverts to the NSW Cup where he last year guided the Sharks to the competition title. Herman stepped into the void over the summer months after 2013 NYC coach James Shepherd was promoted to full time NRL Assistant.

Brendan Fernley and former first grade player Wade Humphreys will be Howlett’s assistant coaches.

While a lot is unknown in relation to the NYC teams before a ball has officially been kicked in 2014, the Titans will be equally as keen as the Sharks to start their season in a positive fashion and with a large junior nursery to pick from are sure to field a formidable side for the round one clash.

The NYC match kicks off at 4.45pm on Monday night, with gates to Remondis Stadium opening at 4.30pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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