Sharks tie Dally M winner to mega long-term deal

Cronulla star Nycho Hynes will remain with the Sharks until the end of the decade after signing a one-million-dollar-a-season contract extension.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who won the Dally M Medal as the NRL’s best player last year, has penned the richest deal in Sharks history that will keep him in the black, white and blue until the end of 2029.

It all but guarantees that he will spend the rest of his career at the club, as he will turn 33 in the final year of his deal.

Hynes was not signed until the end of next season but club chairman Steve Mays was delighted his star playmaker did not want to test the market as a sign of loyalty to coach Craig Fitzgibbon and the team he joined from Melbourne last year.

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“Craig’s recent extension also played a big part in his decision, and now having Nicho and the coach long-term is a huge positive for the NRL team and our club,” Mays said.

Nicho Hynes Dally M Winner 2022 (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

“Negotiations have been very collaborative between Nicho, his management and the Sharks, with the best interests of all parties, now and in the future, always at the forefront of discussions.

“Nicho loves the club, has settled in perfectly in Cronulla and the Sutherland Shire and is enjoying the lifestyle the area has to offer. But beyond that, Nico has chosen to sign this extension without going to market, with the aim of keeping this squad together, but also showing that he believes in what the club is building on and off the pitch.”

The signing of Hynes follows a number of Sharks’ recent retentions, with the likes of Jesse Ramien, Siosifa Talakai, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Sione Katoa and rising stars Sam Stonestreet and Cade Dykes making long-term commitments.

“It’s pretty surreal, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Hynes said after signing the contract. “I never thought I would be signing a long-term contract in the NRL, which will hopefully make my life and my family as well.

“I’m glad it’s done and now I can focus on playing some good footy and winning some games with this club, with the ultimate goal of winning the league.

“Loyalty is a big value for me and this club and Fitzgerald have given me the opportunity to be a starting player. This whole town, this whole community has welcomed me and I can’t ever imagine putting on another jersey.”

Hynes has been used as a utility tool for the Storm and has failed to break into first grade despite playing 36 times for the Storm in three seasons since his debut in 2019.

Last year for the Sharks, he was a sensation at midfield, winning the Dally M with the highest points in the award’s 43-year history.

“This new contract is the reward for Nicho’s hard work, which has certainly paid off, but I have no doubt there is more to come,” said Fitzgibbon.

“His stature in the game is elevated by the way he carries himself and his performances to date have matched that. I look forward to seeing how he develops and continues to improve, and how Nico will continue to perform at a high level as a Shark in the future.”

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