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CEO Update - October 2023

Welcome to the latest CEO Update, where we detail work carried out in the month of October and during the NRL pre-season, with preparations for 2024 well underway.

Rugby League never sleeps, with all departments now firmly focused on a new year and a new season and to continuing to provide a quality experience both in terms of what our NRL & NRLW teams can achieve on the field and what we are able to offer away from it.

The NRL playing group have been on a well-earned break, however the first group will return later this week with pre-season training set to kick off. The coaching and high-performance staff have mapped out a summer schedule they believe will have the boys ready to perform come February-March next year and we are all excited about our prospects for 2024. It will be a little longer until we see our NRLW squad begin preparations for the 2024 season but similar work is already being programmed for the team to be ready come pre-season.

Still on our NRL playing group and while Darren Mooney will cover off on all our representative players in his report, congratulations to Nicho Hynes on making his Kangaroos debut in Australia’s win over the Kiwis last Saturday night. I’m sure making it a little sweeter, Nicho was able to get a win against two of his Sharks teammates in Briton Nikora and Ronaldo Mulitalo, although both of our boys scored tries on the night and were outstanding for New Zealand.

Congratulations to all the Sharks men and women who have played in the international matches in recent weeks.  

Further in covering off on the month of October, the following update will again review all things relating to business conducted at the Sharks, while also previewing some of what is coming up.

In addition to its regular offerings, including the award-winning The Cove Bar and Bistro, our licensed premises at Sharks at Kareela has a number of exciting events and initiatives coming up before Christmas, see more detail below from our General Manager Justin Coulton, while next week we will welcome Vinh Tran to lead and drive our Community Department and Sharks Have Heart in continuing the great work we do engaging with the community. 

From a membership perspective, renewals for 2024 are now underway and we are taking expressions of interest for those wanting to join us and sign on for next year, and some great merchandise deals are on offer as we continue to clean out 2023 stock with new season gear arriving soon.  

Kylie Lucas has hit the ground running in now heading up our commercial department and we are confident she will help us to grow and progress from the healthy position we are currently in at present.

Also during October, we joined the local Cronulla Junior League in commemorating their 60-year milestone at a gala dinner held at Doltone House. Please see below a detailed account on what was a fitting celebration and memorable evening.

In relation to our new Leagues Club and the Woolooware Bay Town Centre, along with our proposed use of the property acquisition at 94 Cronulla Street, not a lot of new information is available, however following below will be the latest update.

Further to that, we should have more to share at our Members Information Night on November 23. 

Introducing a new segment for our members we hear from our Club Historian Ashley Taylor, circling back with a one of our Great White’s. First up he profiles Shark #3 Dave Cooper, from our inaugural team in 1967.

CLICK HERE to read the first installment of ‘Getting to know our Great Whites’.  

And last but certainly not least, please join me in wishing Sharks Immortal Tommy Bishop a happy 83rd birthday. See following a photo sent from his Gold Coast home from his birthday. We hope he had an enjoyable day.

Thanks again for your continued support and for taking the time to read the October 2023 edition of the CEO Update.

Cronulla-Sutherland Junior Rugby League - Congratulations on 60 years
On the 20th of October we celebrated the Cronulla Sutherland Junior Rugby League’s 60th Year Gala Dinner held at Doltone House in Sylvania.

Following its inception in 1964 and the subsequent growth of the local junior league, the Sharks were formed and entered the NSWRL First Grade competition in 1967. Junor Clubs have come and gone, there were a few bumps along the way, however the junior league has always supported the Sharks and the Sharks in various forms have reciprocated.

History tells us the Sharks took the colours from the surf club and that’s how we came to play in black, white and blue, however without the backing and support of the junior league it would never have happened. 

The Sharks began playing at Sutherland Oval, moved to Endeavour Field, regularly referred to as Shark Park and now PointsBet Stadium, which has been our home since 1968.

As was detailed when I had the opportunity to address the room at the 60th Anniversary event, it has not always a big junior league in terms of player numbers as it the case now, but has always produced an abundance of talent.

Three local juniors in Phil Sylvester (Sutherland), Graeme Sams (Sutherland) and Brian Kirk (Cronulla RSL) played in the First-Grade team in our first season in 1967, while Chad Townsend (Yarrawarrah Tigers) was a member of the 2016 Premiership winning team.

More recently Kade Dykes has become the first third generation locally produced First Grade player at the Sharks, following in the footsteps of his grandfather John and father Adam, all from De La Salle. From our current squad we also have Connor Tracey from De La Salle, with his father Craig from Gymea Gorillas, also playing in our top-grade team.

More recently Jayden Brailey was the first NRL player from one of our newer junior league clubs the Aquinas Colts, Kyle Flanagan was the 2nd, then Jayden’s brother Blayke the third, we’ve had Australian Captains who were local juniors - Steve Rogers (Sutherland) and Greg Peirce (Gymea) – and have provided a host of Internationals and Origin players,  with three of the five Sharks immortals (Andrew Ettingshausen – De La Salle, Steve Rogers – Sutherland and Greg Pierce – Gymea) beginning their rugby league journey’s in the local Cronulla junior league.

Fred Dennehy (Cronulla RSL) was the first player to achieve 200 games in all grades, Andrew Ettingshausen the first to 300, Barry Russell (Cronulla Caringbah) won the 1988 Rothmans Medal and Steve Rogers the Dally M Player of the Year in 1981. Twice Sharks juniors have been recognised with the NRL Rookie of the Year award, Alan Wilson (De La Salle) in 1987 and Mat Rogers (Engadine Dragons) in 1995.

David Hatch (Gymea) captained the Sharks First Grade team for seven consecutive seasons, local juniors Greg Pierce (Gymea) and Stuart Raper (De La Salle) coached the Sharks First Grade or NRL team, while Cameron Ciraldo, who played for St Josephs and Menai, is now the NRL coach at the Bulldogs. 

While first and foremost providing playing opportunity and offering social connection for countless boys and girls, men and women, our junior league has certainly proven to be a wonderful breeding ground for many of the game’s stars throughout the 60 years of its existence, the above names just a few examples of the players the Cronulla junior league has supplied to elite level teams and competitions, with 100's going on to play for the Sharks and for other NRL, and before that, NSWRL and QRL First Grade clubs. 

And we now also have an NRLW team and the origins of which came from Cronulla Caringbah.

I took the chance to congratulate all Junior League Clubs, to thank all the hard-working people in each Club and all the volunteers across the JRL, and acknowledged Chris Bannerman, Jenny McNamara and Neil Bishop for their support and dedication to the JRL Executive, which has been led by Nathan Waugh who will be stepping down as Chairman of the Cronulla Junior Rugby League after six years, in addition to two years before that as General Manager. 

The relationship between the Cronulla Sharks and our JRL has never been stronger or more aligned than during Nathan’s tenure. He is an exceptional operator who has taken the JRL from strength to strength and while he will be sorely missed, he hands over the JRL in excellent shape and ready for the next Chairman to continue the good work.

Congratulations again to all concerned on achieving the 60-year milestone.

New Leagues Club Woolooware
We are having some very productive meetings with the Developer and Builder and with the members information night upon us in just over 3 weeks we are hopeful to have some definitive news on our Club opening and plans. Some of the retail operators are looking to open late November as is the Quest Hotel making it even more of a priority to have some certainty for our Club. Work is continuing on the Leagues Club roof and designs for a solution for the Façade also not far away.

We are looking forward to sharing what we hope will be some positive news at the Members Information Night on 23 November.

94 Cronulla Street
We recently wrote to members to explain that we will test the market for leasing options of our purchase at 94 Cronulla Street. The Board and management would like to see what the market has to offer to ensure we are getting best returns for our assets.

Sharks CEO
Dino Mezzatesta

While the summer season is upon us and the rugby league season is a few months away, Sharks at Kareela remains the ideal venue to enjoy all the major sporting action, on the big screen in the main bar area and throughout the Club.

First up for November is Melbourne Cup Day and while spaces are filling fast, it’s not too late to book your place at Kareela to enjoy a delicious two-course meal, glass of sparkling on arrival and live music, while watching ‘the race that stops the nation’. Book now to avoid missing out.

Whenever visiting the Club, take the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding food offerings at the Cove Bar and Grill, which recently launched their new Spring Menu, one which included the old favourites plus a range of delicious new dishes featuring the freshest seasonal produce.  

Following the success of our recent themed Trivia nights, more are being planned, and with the trivia free, pizza and cocktail specials and prizes to be won for best dressed, there is no excuse not to get a group of friends together for a night of fun! Stay tuned to our website and to the new What’s On guide for more information.

We also have the next instalment of our popular Mega Meat and Seafood Raffle coming up on the 22nd of November. Raffle prizes now include Wine and Woolworths vouchers, with $2,000 in prizes up for grabs.

For more information on the exciting range of events at Sharks at Kareela visit the Club today and enquire at reception or call us on 9521 5555.

I look forward to seeing you all around the Club.


Commercial – Kylie Lucas
The off-season is traditionally a very busy time in the Commercial Team as we work hard to plan for the 2024 season across all areas.

In corporate hospitality, renewal sales have resumed allowing all current corporate partners to renew their private suites, or seats in the Marquee. We do have a waitlist form which can be completed should you be interested in our hospitality program. CLICK HERE 

We also have some fantastic sponsorship and signage opportunities available and always welcome enquiries from businesses and individuals interested in partnering with the Cronulla Sharks. CLICK HERE for more information.

The Sharks are always grateful for the support and sponsorship of so many wonderful global, national and local companies and we would like to remind Members of the fantastic benefits available courtesy of our corporate partners. These offers are often updated so please be sure to check (see link below) regularly to see how you can benefit from supporting a company that supports the Sharks. CLICK HERE 

In taking this opportunity to make mention of news and offers from a selection of our Major Partners that maybe of interest to you at this time of year, we begin with Aramex who have a fantastic product to assist with your Christmas shopping!

Aramex’s Shop & Ship means you can shop at online stores around the world, even at those sites that require an international address. Simply register for Shop & Ship and then when shopping at online stores anywhere in the world, enter your Shop & Ship address at checkout. Your orders will be sent to Shop & Ship then shipped straight to your door! Sign up here – CLICK HERE 

Zambrero recently had their annual Plate 4 Plate Meal Packing Day to assist in tackling the issue of world hunger. In partnering with Rise Against Hunger, during October an impressive 470,000 meals were packed in states across Australia, food packages to be distributed to the Philippines, South Africa as well as to disaster relief locations.

Don’t forget that Sharks Members receive a 10% discount when dining at Zambrero, show your Zambrero VIP Card in restaurant.

Ace Gutters are the metal roofing, guttering and downpipe specialists and as a timely reminder as we enter the summer months and bush fire season, it is a good idea to ensure your gutters are free of leaves and twigs especially if you live in a bush fire prone area.

For those with a pool, look no further than Madimack for your pool heating, pool pumps and cleaning robots. Heating your pool is a great way to extend the use of your pool and if you are like my kids (and myself for that matter) we don’t like jumping into a freezing cold pool. That makes a Madimack heat pump crucial to an enjoyable pool season all year round.

Madimack have a great online calculator to assist in working out what kind of pump is right for your pool. CLICK HERE to access their Pool Heat Pump Sizing Calculator 

And to find a Madimack installer in your area please CLICK HERE 

Thanks again to the Sharks Corporate ‘family’ for your continued support.


A big thank you to all our Members who have renewed for 2024. We have already seen an excellent response especially from those members with Reserved Seat packages. If you have submitted a seat request, you will be contacted in mid-November.

With such a strong initial response, and with all available seats and memberships in a range of categories set to go on sale soon, once again we anticipate healthy crowds and an incredible atmosphere for our home games in 2024.

The 2024 NRL Draw is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, with further information regarding Member events and exclusive Member only opportunities to be scheduled and locked in following the draw release.

Keep an eye on our website, and Member Email communications for further information.

A reminder that same seat Membership renewals end this Friday (Nov 3) with 2024 Memberships to go on sale to the general public from Tuesday, November 14. Whether you wish to support from afar, attend just a few games or every match, there is a Membership option to suit.

And in a regular reminder, please keep details up to date to ensure you continue to receive emails and member communications. Long on to the membership portal at any time to update your details, otherwise contact the Sharks Membership team by emailing [email protected].


Sharks Have Heart - Emily Araullo
Despite the NRL season coming to an end, Sharks Have Heart remained active during October, conducting a Junior Jaws and Mini Mermaids clinic - proudly presented by Westfield Miranda, our community partner for school holiday clinics, while in collaboration with NRL Wheelchair, we helped to deliver an engaging and inclusive Come and Try event at Menai Indoor Sports Centre. 

Plans are also being finalised to hold another adult disability footy and mermaid clinic in December, with more details to come.

Sharks Have Heart Indigenous Programs Coordinator Jada Taylor has commenced her Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice, with the qualifications to allow her to deliver 715 health checks. Sharks Have Heart will also facilitate the Deadly Choices program in seven schools this term.

The annual Sharks Christmas Blitz is also being planned around the NRL pre-season training schedule, with the playing group to visit hospitals in an effort to lift the spirits of those doing it tough during the festive season. Sharks at Kareela is a donation drop off point for presents, with the Sharks Women’s Golf Club to again provide additional gifts to be delivered to the kids in the hospitals we visit.


In relation to Sharks Merchandise, following the successful Flash Sale of 2023 Sharks gear and after shipping out the on-line orders, we now await delivery of 2024 stock.

Through Dino’s communications it has been announced that the Sharks Store won’t be moving to 94 Cronulla Street in the short term as they explore the option of leasing the building to maximise the commercial return, however we remain open and operating in our current site at Sharks at Kareela.

The Sharks Store at Kareela is currently open from Tuesday to Friday, with the potential to extend store days and hours when the new 2024 stock becomes available.

Stay tuned to Sharks media channels for information on when new stock is in store and available on-line and for any changes to Sharks store hours.

While the NRL squad have been on their mandatory break, there has been plenty of activity behind the scenes in preparation for the 2024 season.

Coaching and high-performance staff have put together a summer pre-season schedule, with the first group of players to resume this Saturday when they attend their initial session and undergo testing.

The next group, which includes most of our senior players, are back on deck on November 17, with those players involved in the international games to take their mandated leave following the conclusion of their representative commitments.

Furthe to the recent international fixtures, congratulations to Nicho Hynes who became Kangaroo #851 when he represented Australia in the Pacific Championship Match in Melbourne last weekend. Also well done to Briton Nikora and Ronaldo Mulitalo, who both scored tries and performed strongly for the Kiwis despite going down to the Kangaroos on the night.

Also congratulations to Emma Tonegato who has been a member of the Jillaroos squad for the international series, and to Annessa Biddle and Brooke Anderson representing the New Zealand Silver Ferns. 

Royce Hunt played one of the two tests for Samoa and Kayal Iro both matches for the Cook Islands against Fiji and PNG, Daniel Atkinson represented Italy in their game against South Africa, while a number of our men and women played in other international fixtures for emerging nations during the past month.

Our junior representative teams also soon begin preparations for their respective 2024 seasons with induction events and then training and testing sessions. The Jersey Flegg squad will commence later in the month.

Coaching and staff appointments have been made and we look forward to successful 2024 junior representative seasons for our Matthews Cup, SG Ball, Tarsha Gale and Lisa Fialoa Cup teams.

The NSWRL Women’s Premiership has been pushed back until later in the year and we will provide more information as to start dates and competition structure when it becomes available.

We are also pleased to announce Dr Bikram Karmakar as NRL Chief Medical Officer and while he is familiar to our NRL players after being in a report role, we welcome him to the senior position.

And in closing I would like to acknowledge a number of our young players who competed in the recent Australian Secondary Schools Male Under 15’s Championships and Female Under 16’s in Port Macquarie.

To Liam Challenor, Jamie Curran and Logan Longbottom representing NSWCHS and Daniel Green and Thomas Stepic (NSWCCC), well done on your selection and participation in the championship and special mention to Thomas Stepic who was named NSWCCC Most Valuable Player.

We also congratulate our young women players Jessica Stonestreet and Charlotte Teplicanec (NSWCCC) and Milla Caine (NSWCIS) and wish all our emerging players, both male and female, every success into the future.

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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