Sharks coach circling big names - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks coach circling big names

By David Beniuk 25/06/2010 07:25:14 PM Comments (0)

Incoming Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is in the market for several NRL big names with recruitment the first step in the handover of the Sharks from Ricky Stuart.

Flanagan, Stuart's current assistant, will leave on-field matters to the former Test coach while he concentrates on boosting the Sharks' roster for 2011 and his assistant role with the NSW State of Origin side.

He said he wouldn't be gradually taking over Stuart's hands-on role until the end of the year, when the head coach leaves Cronulla after cutting his contract a year short.

"That's not the plan," Flanagan told AAP ahead of the Sharks' clash with North Queensland at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday.

"Everyone knows what sort of personality Ricky is, he'll just do his bit until the end of the season and I'll just do mine, do a bit of planning and my go's next year.

"I've been involved in Origin so I've been away and have one more game there (on July 7).

"I've been heavily involved in recruiting and had to shoot off to meetings, I'm meeting players and player managers."

Flanagan believes Cronulla are two or three class players away from being a premiership threat and has several stars in his sights as captain Trent Barrett's likely retirement frees up some cash.

"We're only in the market for two or three but which two or three is crucial," he said.

"We've got to buy really smart so we've had a couple of offers out there, a couple of feelers here and there.

"We're not going to pay overs, we're going to pay what we think players are worth and we want players to come to the club for the opportunity as well.

"I've been looking at some big names, we're going to spend a bit of money, we've got a bit of money available in our cap.

"I'm not looking at players that haven't played in the NRL as yet so I'm looking for one or two established NRL players and then I'll look for some players on the up as well."

The Sharks' current roster has managed some big improvements in the past month, with two wins and a strong performance against ladder-leading St George Illawarra.

They face a Cowboys outfit on the rebound from last week's 58-12 humiliation by Melbourne amidst reports of tension in Townsville.

The early release of forwards Antonio Kaufusi and Manase Manuokafoa did little to dispel the rumours, coming just weeks after coach Neil Henry singled out under-performing players on big contracts.

Both sides have four wins each in 2010 and a loss by either would virtually spell the end of their finals hopes.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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