The Cronulla Sharks will celebrate Michael Ennis’ 250th match at tonight’s match against the Storm after what has been a career of achievements.
Having been labelled ‘Ennis The Menace’ throughout his career, the Sharks rake has developed into one of the most respected players in the competition through a host of hard work both on and off the field.
After debuting for his hometown side the Newcastle Knights in 2003, Ennis was fortunate enough to play in a team including Kangaroos Andrew Johns Matthew Gidley and Steve Simpson.
It was here that Ennis was first exposed to what it took to succeed at the top-level and to what a ‘winning culture’ was.
After two seasons playing as a utility for the Knights, Ennis made the move to the St George Illawarra Dragons.
His single season in the Red V was spend in a utility role and culminated in his side’s 20-12 Preliminary Final defeat to the eventual premiers the Wests Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium.
From here, Ennis travelled to the Queensland capital and joined the Brisbane Broncos.
In what was set to be Ennis’ big break in the NRL, it came to a halt in Round 5 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs after he snapped his anterior cruciate ligament, undergoing a full knee reconstruction.
Over the next two seasons, Ennis cemented himself as a genuine first-grader and was eventually confirmed as the Broncos’ first choice hooker.
However, in what will be one of the most influential moves in Ennis’ career, the hooker put pen to paper with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2009 on a three-year deal.
It was at the Bulldogs where Ennis would truly flourish and prove to the competition that he was deserving of his place in the starting 13.
In 2009, Ennis earned selection in both the Country and NSW Origin sides, with his State of Origin debut coming in Game III, where the Blues were victorious 28-16 in a dead rubber.
Ennis’ time in Bulldogs colours was also successful, however the NRL premiership plate eluded him and his charges.
In 2012, Ennis led his side to the big dance and took on the Melbourne Storm. However, it was the big match experienced Melbourne side who proved too strong on the day, defeating the Bulldogs 14-4.
After two strong seasons in Bulldogs colours, Ennis would taste one of the most disheartening moments of his career, being told that he would miss the 2014 decider after suffering a fractured foot.
His side would eventually go down 30-6 on the night and Ennis would not take the field again for the Bulldogs.
Michael Ennis made the move to the Black, White and Blue and has flourished, finding the form which made him a mainstay in the National Rugby League.
Since joining the Club, Ennis has enjoyed great success on the field however greater success off it.
Ennis has been one of the most influential players involved in community work, giving up a great deal of his time outside of training to give back to the community which gives the Sharks so much.
This work has not gone unnoticed either, with Ennis being crowned the Sharks 2015 Support Community Award along with being nominated in for the Ken Stephens Community Award.
It is this work by Ennis which has made his on-field achievements almost secondary.
To play 250 NRL games is a phenomenal achievement for any player however do to it along side giving so much back of it is a testament to Michael himself.
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