Cronulla Sharks Captain Paul Gallen cast a dejected figure after his side’s Semi Final loss to the Cowboys last weekend.
In what was a disappointing finish to an otherwise impressive season, Gallen summed up the team’s season in saying he always had the belief the Club could turn its poor start to the year around.
“Those early games we weren’t losing them badly – besides the Melbourne game,” he said.
“Inside the camp we were (admittedly a little bit) worried, but we weren’t listening to all the outside talk.”
While Gallen turned in another trademark year with the support of his senior playing group – not least Michael Ennis, Luke Lewis and Wade Graham – the Sharks’ season will be mainly remembered for the emergence of its young talents.
“We developed players like (Jack) Bird and (Valentine) Holmes, all those young guys ... (Gerard) Beale... They’re all going to be better next year,” Gallen said.
“We’ve taken some big steps forward.”
Playing on for much of the Semi Final despite suffering a high ankle strain in the match’s early stages, Gallen trudged on and didn’t look overly affected by an injury that commentators had ruled as season ending.
In the wash up of the clash, Gallen told the media “(The injury is) alright, it’s the end of the season. I don’t know exactly what I’ve done but I’ll get a scan and see what it is,” he said.
The extent of Gallen’s injury has since been determined, with initial reports of an 8-week lay off quickly dismissed by Club medical staff.