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Cronulla can win NRL in 2019: John Morris

John Morris has been unveiled as Cronulla's new NRL head coach for the next three seasons.

Cronulla can win NRL in 2019: John Morris

John Morris has been unveiled as Cronulla's new NRL head coach for the next three seasons.

New Sharks Coach JOHN MORRIS arrives for a Cronulla Sharks NRL press conference at Sharks leagues Club in Sydney, Australia.
New Sharks Coach JOHN MORRIS arrives for a Cronulla Sharks NRL press conference at Sharks leagues Club in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images

With the ink barely dry on his contract, John Morris has wasted no time declaring he's capable of taking Cronulla to an NRL premiership in his rookie coaching year.

Morris was on Friday confirmed as Shane Flanagan's successor for the next three years after beating out the likes of Cameron Ciraldo and Justin Holbrook.


At 38 and having retired following a 300-game playing career in 2014, Morris' rise to a head coaching role has been meteoric.

After just a four-season apprenticeship overseeing the club's development program, coaching the Sharks under-20s side and serving as Flanagan's assistant, he has been tasked with delivering the club a second title.

With the class of Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Josh Dugan, Andrew Fifita, Josh Morris, Matt Moylan and Shaun Johnson in their roster, their premiership window is wide open.

Only Trent Robinson (2013), Phil Gould (1988), Ricky Stuart (2002), Michael Hagan (2001) and Leo Nosworthy (1969) have won a premiership in their maiden season as a coach.

Morris was at Newcastle in 2001 when Hagan took the Knights to a grand final win as a rookie mentor and said being a part of that side was fuelling his belief.

"I believe I can," Morris said when asked if they could be crowned premiers.

"I'm not going to come out and say we're going to win the comp. But certainly in and around that top four, in my opinion, is the expectation of the Sharks in recent times.

"I know what success looks like for this club, I was here on the staff when they won the comp.

"I also know how shattered and disappointed the boys were last year down in Melbourne when we were a game short of the grand final.

"I know how keen the boys are to go two wins further than they did last year."

Morris played alongside current Sharks players Gallen, Graham, Fifita, Sosaia Feki, Matt Prior and Scott Sorensen in 2014.

But he denied he would have trouble balancing relationships and being the firm hand when needed.

"It may have come a little bit earlier than what most people would expect but I wouldn't put my hand up for this job if I didn't think I had something to offer," Morris said.

"The key thing is the backing of the players - and I believe I've got that.

"For me I think it's a real asset - having that relationship. And the players you're talking about are leaders of this club. It's the Wade Grahams, the Paul Gallens."

AAP


AAP




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