Craig Fitzgibbon’s Long-Term Deal Extended

Craig Fitzgibbon’s contract has been extended by the Cronulla Sharks after an impressive first year as coach in 2022. 

Craig was already signed into 2024 but the Cronulla Sharks were so impressed with his first year as coach they have extended his contract until 2027.

How The Sharks Performed In 2022

We saw some great football from the Cronulla Sharks seeing them place second on the NRL ladder. Once in the semi-finals they did crash and burn, at the same time towards the end of the year the team’s players had clocked up a heavy injury toll. To finish second on the ladder in your first season coaching a team is no small achievement for Craig Fitzgibbon.

The Extended Deal

The 4-year extended deal is reported to be worth around 3.4 million dollars. The Cronulla Sharks board announced, “the deal wasn’t just about the amazing first-year results but also about the culture the coach is establishing at the club”.

Why Craig Didn’t Start Head Coaching Sooner & Why The Sharks

In an interview, Craig stated that “he had a lot to learn and being a head coach is a lot of responsibility and I just wanted to make sure I was ready”

Why The Sharks?

Craig Fitzgibbon had this to say:

“i felt the timing was right and the Sharks were in a strong position, my father had coached at the Sharks and i live in the area as well, it just felt right”.

Craigs Fitzgibbon’s History

Craig Fitzgibbon first played professional football in 1998 for the Illawarra Steelers and was their top point scorer in his debut year. Craig eventually transferred to the Roosters where he played second row where he won a premiership. Craig also represented Australia in 18 games and played in 8 State Of Origin matches. Craig worked as an assistant coach for the Roosters learning his trade and turning down several offers to be the head coach with other clubs until he was fully confident he had learned what he needed to learn and was ready. He stated in an interview “he also wanted to live up to his word in what he had agreed to with the Roosters and finish his deal with the club”.

The 2023 Season For The Sharks & Craig

The Sharks are a real contender for NRL premiership in  2023 having a coach on a long-term contract adds stability for the players and for the club. 

This is what Craig had to say about the extended contract and 2023

“This is an awesome opportunity for the team to build on what we started here at the Sharks last year,” Fitzgibbon stated. “We have outstanding playing talent, backed by a Board led by Steve Mace who is supportive of what we are trying to achieve.

“We enjoyed our first season, but our journey has just begun and we are looking to create an even stronger environment going forward,”

Sharks Chairman Comments On The Extension

Sharks chairman Steve Macae was the man responsible for helping to get the contract extended. He believes in Craig as a coach and was extremely positive about what had been achieved in 2022. Steve has been outspoken that he “believes Craig can win a premiership for the club.”

The Sharks have some great players and are heading into 2023 with great momentum.

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