Gallen deals with frustration at Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gallen deals with frustration at Sharks

23/12/2009 05:55:53 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla forward Paul Gallen has admitted to having major frustrations at the Sharks, but says he will be there at training when the NRL club's players return next month.

In an unusually frank club statement, Gallen says the last 18 months at the Sharks have been "difficult" and he has been "disappointed" and "frustrated".

The Test star also refers to some of the "personal sacrifices" he's had to make to stay at the club.

Gallen makes particular mention of "players leaving for various reasons", seemingly a reference to the sackings of Greg Bird and Brett Seymour.

Coming amidst speculation he wanted out of the Sharks after a second $10,000 fine this year for behavioural issues, Gallen says he still has some outstanding concerns which he wants addressed.

"It's been a difficult 18 months at the Sharks and it's fair to say I was disappointed with a few issues and the way the club handled them," he said in the statement.

"I am very passionate and was frustrated at times with players leaving for various reasons and I felt the club could have supported those players and me a little better, considering a variety of personal sacrifices I have made for the club.

"Again I was disappointed to be fined last week, however I understand this is a new administration and, after discussions with (chief executive) Richard Fisk and (chairman) Damian Irvine, I am in no doubt that they are working towards making changes for the better and I am looking forward to being a part of this in season 2010.

"It's been refreshing to be able to air my concerns and clear the air in a positive fashion."

Gallen, the club's longest serving player, said his concerns were not related to money.

"This has never been about money," he said.

"I have been with the Sharks since I left high school and have knocked back many lucrative offers from other clubs in the past to stay in the Shire, including a pay cut in 2009 when I extended terms with the club."

Gallen and his manager David Riolo met with coach Ricky Stuart and Fisk last week before reports surfaced of approaches to Manly and the Wests Tigers despite three years remaining on his current deal.

"I wish to confirm that at no time has my management or myself requested a release from the Sharks," Gallen said.

"I am aware that this kind of speculation can affect my teammates and that's why I want to clear it up now so it doesn't detract from the hard work and fantastic preparation everyone has been putting in.

"We have committed to sit down on my return to training and discuss any outstanding issues.

"I'm confident that, with the lines of communication and relationship we now share, we are heading for a positive and exciting season at the Sharks."

Fisk said Gallen's commitment was good news for the club's stability.

"This week has given us all an opportunity to air some of those issues that were yet to be clarified and settled that have carried over from the previous administration," he said.

"I know Paul has appreciated being able to reflect to our chairman some of the frustrations he experienced throughout 2008 and 2009."

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