The Courier-Mail

Sharks shock: Our secret coaching plans

- DEAN RITCHIE

CRONULLA has hatched a secret plan to partner rising coaches Craig Fitzgibbon and Cameron Ciraldo at the Sharks from next season.

The Courier-Mail has been told Fitzgibbon would be head coach with Ciraldo his assistant. It is understood Cronulla hope the Fitzgibbon and Ciraldo coalition would have the power to attract key players.

Ciraldo, the Panthers assistant and defensive coach, has been formally approached by Sharks management to coach alongside Fitzgibbon, the current Sydney Roosters assistant.

The Fitzgibbon-Ciraldo alliance only started gathering serious momentum at Cronulla in the past 36 hours.

Ciraldo, 36, formally told Penrith officials of the Sharks’ approach on Monday afternoon. This was confirmed by Panthers management.

Fitzgibbon has told friends he wants to coach alongside Ciraldo, who still has another year to run on his current Penrith contract, with close friends confirming he is torn about whether to stay or leave.

Fitzgibbon and Ciraldo have been firm friends since working together with Country sides several years ago.

The pair have long held a private ambition to coach together.

While he has a passion to coach with Fitzgibbon, it is known Ciraldo would genuinely struggle to leave the Panthers.

Sharks coach John Morris looks certain to be dumped after this season, despite overcoming a raft of hurdles to guide his club to the finals for the past two seasons.

 ??  ?? Craig Fitzgibbon.
Craig Fitzgibbon.

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