- Apr 11, 2010
- Reaction score
Fifita looks set to get a new long term deal.You’re calling for everyone to retire haha
Monday Buzz: Andrew Fifita’s Sharks future, Tigers’ shameless cash grab & NRL Round 20 highlights, lowlights
Former Cronulla coach John Morris wanted to get rid of front-rower Andrew Fifita early last year – and I agreed with him.
He looked overweight, lazy and a waste of salary cap money, soaking up around $850,000-a-season.
I also didn’t like some of the issues from his past.
Now the Sharks want to sign him long term or for as long as he wants to be there.
Not as a footy player (he’s 33) but in a role in the football department.
Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to admit you were wrong, especially after a conversation with Craig Fitzgibbon on Sunday morning.
The new coach came in last October with a fresh set of eyes.
Andrew Fifita showed a glimpse of his 2016 form with a barnstorming try against the Rabbitohs. Picture: Getty Images.
Fifita had almost died last year in a freak accident in a match against the Newcastle Knights.
The coach was immediately impressed when he arrived in the Shire.
“I’d met him previously in NSW Origin camp and thought he was a good guy,” Fitzgibbon said.
“But I underestimated his care factor for the club and the love he has for his teammates.
“He’s got a winning mentality, that no matter what the situation, the game can be won.
“He’s all positive around the group in everything he does.”
Fitzgibbon didn’t care about the size of his pay packet or the strain on the cap.
“Andrew had been handed a long-term contract and he was entitled to that,” Fitzgibbon said.
“I’m happy for him and really admire that he’s come such a long way from the serious injury.”
Fifita is set to sign a long term deal with the club in an off-field role. Picture: Getty Images.
Fifita had a blinder against the Rabbitohs on Saturday night.
The sold-out crowd started chanting his name after a barnstorming try similar to his premiership-winning touchdown in the 2016 grand final.
This wasn’t about skill but more his determination and resolve to get the football over the line no matter who was standing in the way.
Like Fitzgibbon, Sharks chairman Steve Mace cannot speak highly enough of the 244-game veteran.
“He is the cultural heartbeat of our club,” Mace said, “the real heart and soul.
“Among other things he plays an important role in luring and retaining pathways talent.
“The kids coming through have the highest respect for him.
“And so does everyone else at the Sharks.”
The crowd at PointsBet Stadium was electric, and proof of why we must support suburban-ground footy. Picture: Getty Images.