Cronulla will continue to develop their best young players at Newtown with a five-year extension of the partnership agreement between the two clubs.
The Sharks and the Jets announced on Thursday they would continue to work together until at least 2023. The Jets, who play in the second tier Intrust Super Premiership competition, regularly feature players from Cronulla’s NRL squad not involved in first grade matches.
A number of Cronulla’s brightest young prospects, including Kyle Flanagan, Blayke Brailey, Billy Magoulias, Daniel Vasquez and Will Kennedy, have featured heavily so far this season.
Jesse Ramien, Jayden Brailey, Kurt Capewell and Edrick Lee are among the many Sharks’ first graders to have played for Newtown in recent seasons.
Sharks CEO Barry Russell, who represented Newtown as well as Cronulla as a player, won the Metropolitan Cup with the Jets in 1992 and said he was excited about the extension.
“I’m thrilled we’ve been able to enter into a long-term partnership with one of the great foundation clubs of the league,” he said.
“I have the utmost respect for the club and the people at Newtown and I'm certain this partnership can bring success to both clubs.
"We will be working closely with player development. The coaches will have the opportunity to work together and partnering up for another five years provides great stability for us and for the Jets.”
Newtown, a foundation NSWRL competition club, won the NSW Cup in 2012 and continue to play out of their spiritual home at Henson Park.
I’m thrilled we’ve been able to enter into a long-term partnership with one of the great foundation clubs of the league.Sharks CEO Barry Russell
Half of the players in their 18-man squad for Saturday’s home clash with Wyong are contracted to the Sharks.
Newtown CEO Stuart McCarthy said the agreement would continue to benefit both clubs through greater stability.
"We are absolutely ecstatic. It gives us five years of security. We are part of a fantastic partnership, one which is working really, really well at the moment. We saw no reason why we would need to pack up and start afresh,” he said.
"The staff get on well, the coaches get on well, management get on well and the players come back to Henson with a great attitude. Now that we know we're going to be there long term we can continue to improve the relationship even more.
"In the [Jets] team this week there's 12 [Cronulla] local juniors, or at least players who have come through the junior rep system here at the Sharks.”