Versatile Sharks local junior Connor Tracey has today signed a three-year contract extension that will see him remain at the Cronulla club through until at least the end of the 2024 season.
Primarily a half-five eighth, Tracey has switched around the various positions in the Sharks line up over the past two years, playing them all to a high standard, with the De La Salle Caringbah product pleased to have secured his long-term future with this contract extension.
“It’s obviously exciting times to be able to sort my future out,” Tracey said. “I played a lot of games here as a junior, it’s super exciting to be staying here. I can’t wait and I’m looking forward to it.”
Despite having his path somewhat blocked to his preferred positions in the halves, the 24-year-old Tracey has made the best of his opportunities wherever selected over the past two seasons and is happy to continue to do what is best for the team going forward.
“I get asked a lot, a lot of different people ask what my best position is, but I just take it week by week. The more I think of that, the less I’m going to be focussing on the position I have to play for the team,” Tracey explained.
“If I get put on the wing, I’ll learn how to do that, centre the same thing. Anything in the backs I’m pretty happy with.” “The re-signing of Connor is a wonderful announcement for both the club and Connor.
Current Sharks NRL coach Josh Hannay had no doubt the Sharks had secured the services of a talented and committed performer with today’s confirmation of Tracey’s signing.
“Throughout this year Connor has continually demonstrated the type of traits that we want in Cronulla Sharks players – commitment, determination and a want to compete.
“It’s these traits that make Connor an extremely popular and respected member of the squad and I know I speak on behalf of everyone involved in our football program when I say how happy we are to have him commit to the club for a further three years,” Hannay said.
While the signing of Tracey also comes with the obvious endorsement of incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon, who while not involved in the 2021 Sharks side will have his fingerprints over the NRL squad for the seasons ahead.
“Seems like a great coach. I had a chat to him, his vision going forward is really good. It’s exciting times to be moving ahead with Craig for sure,” Tracey added.
Tracey began his career with the Sharks as a member of their Academy squad’s way back as a 13-year-old, before progressing to the Junior Representative teams, then the NYC Holden Cup competition. He was also a part of the 2014 Australian Schoolboys team where he was selected alongside the likes of Latrell Mitchell, Tigers backrower Luciano Leilua, Nat Butcher from the Roosters and former Shark Jayden Brailey.
Two knee reconstructions hampered his progress, with Tracey leaving the Sharks and making his NRL debut while at Souths, his first game at the top level coming against the Eels in round 12 of the 2019 season.
Returning to the Shire in 2020, Tracey has since been a regular for the Sharks, playing a variety of positions in the NRL team.
Tracey’s dad Craig also represented the Sharks, playing 12 top grades games and 119 matches across all grades for the Club.
This weekend Connor runs out against the Panthers as a winger for what will be his ninth appearance of the season. He has scored four tries in his eight games so far.
CONNOR TRACEY Fact File
DOB: June 17, 1996
Junior Club: De La Salle Caringbah
Rep Honours: Australian Schoolboys 2014
NRL debut: Souths v Parramatta, 31/05/2019 (round 12)
Sharks First Grade Debut: v Souths, ANZ Stadium 14/3/2021 (round 1)
NRL Games played: 26