By all accounts, Andrew Fifita struggled with his decision to leave the Cronulla Sharks and take up a rich four year deal with the Canterbury Bulldogs.
There are reports that he broke down what he told his Cronulla Sharks team mates of his decision. As a club the Sharks have been through so much together over the last 12 months so emotions are high anyway. It was simply an offer Fifita could not refuse. He had to take the deal the Bulldogs were offering him.
Fifita joined the Sharks from the Wests Tigers in 2012. At the time he was a fringe first grader at best. He showed the occasional glimpses of ability, but he was a long way off of the player we see today.
2013 was a breakout year for Fifita. He broke into the New South Wales State Of Origin team and ended up playing a key role in Australia’s World Cup victory last year.
This is a young bloke that’s hard work and effort to improve his game has payed off. It is a fantastic moment for him and his family to know that his future is secure. That is why it is so disappointing to see so many people attacking him on social media.
A number of Cronulla Sharks supporters were disgusted that Fifita chose to sign elsewhere. They asked where his loyalty was, maybe forgetting that he has only been at the Sharks for a little over a year at this point anyway. There were some that felt he should have stuck by his mates as the club goes through difficult times. Then there were others that simply lost the plot, calling him all sorts of things that I won’t repeat on this web site.
I can understand the crushing disappointment Sharks supporters felt when they heard news that Fifita would leave the club, but to attack him for his decision is flat out wrong.
He made the right decision. The offer the Bulldogs made him was significantly more than the Sharks were willing to pay to keep him. At some point it must be remembered that if the Sharks really wanted to keep him, they would have come up with the money themselves.
I say good luck to Andrew Fifita. It must be pretty amazing to go from being a struggling first grade player to the highest paid prop in the games history a few years later.
One thing he will find now is how much money can effect the expectation of supporters. When you’re the highest paid prop in the game, you’d better play like it!