Flanagan reaches 150 game milestone
While players regularly celebrate important career milestones, for coaches similarly significant matches are often forgotten.
For Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, this week marks his 150th match in charge of the NRL squad, an achievement which has come along with little fanfare and relatively unnoticed.
Flanagan’s top grade career at the Sharks began against the Raiders on July 24, 2010, in a match played in Canberra, won by the home side 20-13.
From there the 2010 season was a battle, Flanagan’s Sharks winning twice, losing four more games, over the final six weeks of the competition.
With an inherited squad 2011 was another tough one, but from there he recruited a few players to fit his plan and things improved, with the 2012 and 2013 Sharks qualified for finals.
An enforced ‘holiday’ saw him watch on from afar in 2014, then in 2015 the Sharks, again under Flanagan’s guidance, won 15 games, losing 11, the hardest loss being a 39-0 elimination final defeat at the hands of the North Queensland Cowboys.
However as hard as the last game of 2015 had been to swallow, the seeds had been sown for 2016 and the rest is history, with Flanagan the man in charge for the Sharks maiden NRL premiership.
In marking the success of the 2016 squad Flanagan would then be named the Sharks Coach of the Half Century at a 50th Anniversary awards night earlier this season.
On the eve of his 150th NRL game as a head coach, the records will read 81 wins, 66 losses and two draws from 149 games, his total games second only to John Lang (198) for the most matches coached at the Cronulla club.
Congratulations to Shane Flanagan and may there be many more wins to come.