Sharks skipper Paul Gallen has today put pen to paper on new one-year contract.
Currently in his 15th year in NRL, all with the Cronulla club, Gallen’s new deal will almost certainly see him finish his NRL career as a one-club player.
Gallen, who just two weeks ago ran out for his 250th NRL game, ranks second on the Sharks all-time list for first grade games played.
Sharks Group CEO Lyall Gorman announced Gallen’s signing at a press conference held earlier today.
“Obviously a great day for the club, an exciting day to announce an extension of Paul’s contract for one year,” Gorman said. “It’s fair to say one-club players are rare and Paul as you now started here back in 2001.
“Paul is an icon of the game and there is no doubt he’ll go down in history as one of the greats of the game.”
Gorman went on to explain Gallen would be granted permission to box and there were no restrictions put on his availability for representative football.
“The extension is for one year and it does allow him to box within a certain window post-season. And there are no restrictions on anything to do with representative football.
“That is something Paul and I agree should be his decision over time and I respect that fully,” Gorman added.
After making his debut back in 2001 in a round 15 game against the Parramatta Eels, Gallen has since gone on to Captain the Sharks in more than 100 matches, while representing NSW and Australia in what has been a distinguished NRL career.
His new contract will also link Gallen to the Sharks in an ambassadorial role where he will continue to contribute to the club post his playing days.
Gallen was equally pleased to have finalised the contract and to have his future, at least for the 2016 season, confirmed.
“I started my career here, I wanted to finish it here,” Gallen said. “There was a time (during negotiations) where I said to my manager we might have to look elsewhere, but I never wanted to leave.”
The ambassador role about which Gorman spoke would be for three years, post Gallen’s playing career.
Sharks TV was on hand to record the words of both Gallen and Gorman. Stay tuned to the press conference which will soon to be available via the Sharks website.
PAUL GALLEN FACT FILE
Currently in his 15th year in NRL, all with the Cronulla club
One club player, now sits second on the Sharks all-time list with 251 games (Andrew Ettingshausen 328 games)
Debuted in 2001 in a round 15 game against the Parramatta Eels
Has captained the club in the NRL in over 100 games
21 Origin games for NSW – captain of the winning 2014 series
31 Tests matches for Australia
Wife - Anne – 3 children – Charley, Cody, Macy