Shane Flanagan's rebuilding of the Sharks is set to earn him a timely contract extension as Cronulla bid for a second title in three years.
NRL.com understands the terms of a new two or three-year deal are being nutted out by Flanagan's manager Wayne Beavis and the club, with the view off taking the Sharks mentor off 2019's looming coaching merry-go-round.
Flanagan is one of several high profile coaches off contract next year, including Anthony Seibold, Paul McGregor, Brad Arthur and Dean Pay, while Penrith's pursuit of Wests Tigers' Ivan Cleary and Wayne Bennett's impasse at Brisbane set the scene for potential game-wide upheaval in the clipboard carrying ranks.
But with a sixth finals appearance from his last seven seasons in the Sutherland Shire and their current crop of juniors among the most talented in the competition, Cronulla are keen to tie Flanagan down until at least the end of 2021.
A new deal is also seen as a critical move in hanging onto his son Kyle, who is also free to negotiate for 2020 and beyond as of November 1 and regarded as one of the game's best young playmakers after making his Telstra Premiership debut against Newcastle last month.
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Cronulla CEO Barry Russell told NRL.com recently that as with the rest of the Sharks playing squad, including in-demand star Valentine Holmes, Kyle's contract talks have been put on hold until the end of their 2018 campaign.
But with the game's most experienced roster to be regenerated in the next 12 months, Flanagan snr is viewed as the man to do it, and wants to continue his work as the first 10-year coach in Cronulla's history.
"I want to stay at the club, there's no question about that," Flanagan told Sky Sports Radio on Sunday morning.
"We're in a really good position. Our second grade [Intrust Super Premiership feeder side Newtown Jets] made it through to the grand final yesterday and our 20s are playing in a grand final qualifier today.
"So the club's in really good shape. I want to be there for a couple more years, we've laid the foundations and I see some good times ahead."
Cronulla will travel to Melbourne this week to face their 2016 grand final foes in a blockbuster preliminary final on Friday night.
Aside from the 2014 wooden spoon that came during the club's ASADA scandal with Flanagan serving a 12-month ban, the Sharks have been a finals fixture since 2012, his second full season in charge at the club.
Cronulla remain under an NRL investigation after self-reporting salary cap irregularities with a verdict not expected until after this year's decider.
However indications are the Sharks potential breaches are not on the same scale as previous landmark scandals involving Melbourne, Manly and Cronulla.
Luke Lewis is hanging up the boots at the end of 2018 and captain Paul Gallen will join him in retirement at the end of next season, the likes of Flanagan jnr and junior rep stars Bronson Xerri, Blayke Brailey and Billy Magoulias are viewed as the club's future.