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One in, all in at Sharks full squad session

It was potentially the largest collection of Sharks in the one place at the one time when more than 160 players, from 14-year-old Matthews Cup squad members, to NRL stars Paul Gallen, Josh Dugan and Andrew Fifita, descended on the Academy Fields at Cronulla High School last night for a pre-season training hit out.

Instigated by interim Coach John Morris, a full club training session saw the entire Sharks playing roster run the same drills, the same plays and were out through the same conditioning in an attempt to build a one-club mentality through the group.

The under 16's Matthews Cup, under 18 SG Ball, Jersey Flegg and NRL Sharks, were also joined by the Tarsha Gale girls and the Sharks NSWRL Harvey Norman Women's Premiership squad, in an exercise that was embraced by all.

Although following on from similar sessions held in years past, Morris was convinced this was the biggest turnout at a combined training run during his time at the Club.

"I wanted to bring the whole club together," Morris said. "I think it's the biggest training session the Sharks have ever seen so hopefully it goes a long way towards building a good positive culture at the club and gets our season off to a good start across all grades.

"I wanted to educate the young ones that it's about more than just their team. I told them once they pull the (Sharks) jumper on they are representing their team, themselves and their family, but also the club.

"If we can buy into that, we'll produce good players on and off the field," he added.

Part of Morris's 'education' plan saw the players broken up into six different groups, not designed by age or ability but rather by position, with each group given a senior team leader and the name of a former Sharks great.

The groups went by the titles of Rogers, Ettingshausen, Pierce, Bishop, Peachey and Miller, with the senior team leaders offering something of a history lesson with a brief bio of each of the former Sharks legends at the conclusion of the session.

As Jayson Bukuya explained, himself a former Junior rep player at the Sharks, it was a worthwhile initiative and an afternoon the youngsters should remember for some time to come.

"They're memories that stick out for me," Bukuya said of similar Club sessions he took part in as a teenager making his way in the game. "Hopefully they're memories that will stick with them as well."

The Junior rep Sharks play trials this weekend, with their seasons to get underway in early March, while the NRL squad continue their preparations ahead of their round one clash with the Knights in Newcastle on March 15.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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