Earlier today, multiple sourced confirmed what most have already known for some time. A two year deal for Michael Ennis to join the Sharks, a deal which will see him finish his career in the Shire.
As usual with signings, opinion has been split, although the majority of Sharks fans seem to agree that Ennis’s signature is a positive move for the club.
I fit into this category. Next season we will have young Valentine Holmes at fullback. if reports are to be believed, and Tautau Moga signs for the club, our backline could potentially look like this:
FB: Holmes (18) W: Gordon (31) C: Moga (21) C: Luetele (24) W: Feki (23)
With the likely retirement of 300 gamer John Morris, young Nu Brown (19) will presented with an opportunity to act as deputy for both Michael Ennis, and Cronulla’s first choice halves of Carney and Robson.
That’s not a whole lot of first grade experience (other than Gordon) to call upon when times get tough.
Unfortunately for Sharks fans, experienced players Todd Carney, Luke Lewis and Paul Gallen have missed a mountain of games due to injury and rep duty. Ennis, who is unlikely to play Origin due to the amazing form of Farah, will provide valuable experience to the Sharks young players.
The form of the Bulldog’s captain has been top shelf this season and although Ennis is moving toward the end of his career, he is still only 30 years of age.
The opposition to Ennis’s move has come mainly from fans of the departing Michael Lichaa.
Lichaa has been talked up for many years at Cronulla, as the next big thing. He is a local junior and his family has ties to the community.
Long story short, this was the kid who was going to play 12 years of first grade footy for his local club and become a legend…
Then he signed a big money deal to play for the Bulldogs next season.
Blame has been laid on the club for failing to match the Dog’s big offer given he is still largely untested in first grade.
A two time former NYC hooker of the year, a NSW Cup hooker of the year, a NSW junior rep and NSW cup grand final winner, Lichaa has shown PLENTY of promise.
The fact is, he chose to sign with the Dogs, there is no real reason to point fingers, what’s done is done, and a replacement is needed.
In Ennis, the Sharks have found a good one. Former NSW and Australian junior Kangaroo Jason Deitz is waiting in the wings. His first move next season should be to stand as close to Ennis at all times and learn everything the former NSW rake has to teach.
Ennis to Deitz is the succession plan. While Lichaa may play 12 years of first grade, it will be, at least for the next three seasons, in the blue and white of Belmore.