Shane Flanagan is set to become Cronulla’s longest-serving coach after signing a two-year contract extension which will keep him at the NRL club until the end of 2019.
Flanagan was contracted until the end of next year but the club moved to wrap him up long-term following the side’s stellar season.
In second place with four rounds remaining, Flanagan has the side well placed to claim a long-awaited maiden premiership for Cronulla and the new deal rewards his efforts in turning the club around since the dark days of the supplements scandal.
Providing he sees out his new deal, he will surpass John Lang as the club’s longest-serving coach.
Lang was in charge for eight seasons from 1994-2001.
The 50-year-old Flanagan, who took over in 2010, would go past him with nine seasons at the helm, despite having also sat out a season in 2014 when suspended for his part in the supplements scandal.
The Sharks’ coaching position has been somewhat of a poisoned chalice with just Flanagan, Lang, Tommy Bishop and Allan Fitzgibbon serving four or more years.
Asked what he was most proud of, Flanagan said: “The last couple of years, what we’ve built on the field and off the field.
“From top to bottom, our juniors are going really well at the moment, we’ve got good structures and systems in place in that area.
“On the field we’ve had a successful season and my staff off their field are one of the best in the competition. They’ve done a great job of keeping the players fit and healthy and strong.
“In many areas of the business and in welfare and education, right through the place, management, we’re going really well in that area.”