Paul Gallen signs year extension at Cronulla

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 05: Paul Gallen of the Sharks is tackled during the round 21 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Manly Sea Eagles at Southern Cross Group Stadium on August 5, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Veteran prop forward, Paul Gallen, has decided to extend his career by at least a year as he signs a new deal with the Sharks.

The new deal will see Gallen, 37, play on in 2019 – In what will be his 18th year as an NRL professional.

Currently the co-captain at Cronulla, Gallen began his career in 2001 and has since made 321 appearances.

In 2016 he captained the Sharks to NRL Premiership glory as they defeated Melbourne Storm 14-12 in the NRL Grand Final.

In an open letter to club members, Gallen said:

“While we still have some big games to go in 2018 and finishing this season on a positive note is our main focus, hopefully with another grand final appearance, I can now confirm that I will be playing on in 2019.”

“Plenty of people quote my age and the fact that I was 37 earlier in the week, however the body feels good, training is still something I look forward to and the feedback from the coach and those that matter, say my contribution to the team on game day is strong.

“I’ve always said age and my birth certificate would never make this decision for me if everything I’ve explained above was in order. And personally, I believe I’ve got plenty left to give, which has ultimately led me to make this decision.

“If I play 15 games or 25 games next year, while winning is the main aim, part of my role will also be to bring through and to help develop the next crop of talented young players at our club, as I’ve tried to do in recent years and as I’ll continue to do.”