Young Sharks half back Kyle Flanagan today signed a two-year contract extension that will see him remain at the Cronulla club at least until the end of the 2021 season.
Flanagan, who set the Holden Cup point scoring record in 2017 before helping the Newtown Jets reach the 2018 ISP Grand Final, has come through the junior development system at the Sharks to where he is now a member of the club's fulltime squad and in line to add to his NRL debut match from last season.
A junior from the Aquinas Colts club in the Cronulla-Sutherland district competition, the 20-year-old Flanagan played one game in the top grade last season and hopes that match against the Knights will be the forerunner to many more NRL appearances in the future.
"Being a local boy, I've grown up watching the Sharks and I've always wanted to play for the club," Flanagan said. "I witnessed the Grand Final victory and I'd like to think we can replicate the success of 2016 and I can be a part of that in the years to come.
"We have a core group of experienced players, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Josh Dugan, Andrew Fifita and others, who I'm looking forward to playing with and learning from, but I also want to be a part of the next generation.
"I want to become a leader at the club alongside close friends like Bronson Xerri and Blayke Brailey who I've come through the junior system with here at the Sharks. I want to help bring success to the Sharks in the year ahead."
A stand out as a junior, Flanagan first pulled on a Sharks jersey in an under-13's development match before progressing through the junior grades.
A member of the State and National Championship winning Sharks SG Ball squad of 2015, Flanagan graduated to the under 20's Holden Cup team where he set the single season points scoring record in 2017.
With that competition defunct, Flanagan's tally of 360 points, made up from 20 tries and 140 goals, will now stand forever in rugby league history.
Still just 19 as of last season, Flanagan was pushed up into open-age football, wearing the navy blue of Newtown for the majority of 2018, during a year where the Jets would win their way through to the ISP Grand Final only to go down to the Bulldogs in the competition decider.
With Flanagan, the recent acquisition of Kiwi international Shaun Johnson, along with 2016 Grand Final-winning half back Chad Townsend and under-20's young gun Braydon Trindall, the Sharks will have an abundance of depth in the halves in 2019.
Born – September 15, 1998
Junior Club – Aquinas Colts
Position – Half back
Height – 185cm
Weight – 90kgs
Rep Honours – NSW Residents (2018), NSW 20's Origin (2018)
Club and NRL Debut – Sharks v Knights, Shark Park, 26/8/2018 (Rd 24)