The Cronulla Sharks acknowledge and welcome the NRL announcement today regarding the lifting of the suspension of Head Coach Shane Flanagan.
Flanagan is free to resume his coaching duties at the Sharks effective immediately.
The NRL’s Head of Integrity Nick Weeks explained in a media release that Flanagan had satisfied all conditions required for reinstatement, which included the completion of a range of training courses and demonstrating he understands the obligations of an NRL head coach.
“The NRL has been impressed with Mr Flanagan’s commitment to meeting the conditions set down for his return,” Mr Weeks said in the NRL statement. “Consequently his suspension is lifted and he can return to coaching duties at any time.”
In confirming his return, Sharks Chairman Damian Keogh predicted a bright future for the club under Flanagan as Head Coach after the challenges of the past 12 months.
“We welcome Shane back after his suspension and look forward to him continuing to build on the strong coaching record he had in leading the Sharks to the finals in 2012 and 2013,” Mr Keogh said.
“Shane has served his penalty, satisfied the NRL’s requirements and deserves the chance to re-start his coaching career. He returns with the full support of both the Board and of the club.
“We have a great supporter base who have been very loyal to the Sharks and we look forward to rewarding that loyalty with strong on field performances. The past two years haven’t been easy for the club but it is now time to move forward in a positive direction,” he added.
As a part of the NRL statement detailing his return, Flanagan expressed his commitment to re-establishing the clubs’ off field reputation and improving the Sharks on-field performances.
“I am committed to restoring the reputation of the Sharks as a club that everybody in the game can be proud of,” Flanagan said. “I now intend to focus on the future and demonstrate that I am the right person to lead the cultural change at the Sharks.
“I’m really excited to be returning. We have a quality playing roster which includes the likes of Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Michael Gordon, Wade Graham, Andrew Fifita, Chris Heighington and others, along with new recruit Michael Ennis and with hopefully a few more new signings to come. I’m certain we will be more than competitive next season.
“I want to thank the members and supporters and in particular the sponsors for sticking with us and promise better times ahead,” he said.
Flanagan will resume his duties with the team when the Sharks begin pre-season training on Monday.