Paul Gallen will become the most capped Shark in history this weekend when he plays his 329th game for the club, but he admits there were times in his career where he thought about going elsewhere.
The 37-year-old will hang up the boots at the end of the season, not before he has surpassed club legend Andrew Ettingshausen’s 328 career games.
“There were a few times in my career where I could have gone elsewhere,” Gallen told Big League.
“Six months into one of my contracts, I thought ‘what could have been?’ Manly won a couple of comps and I could have been there. Then you go through tough times at Cronulla and you wonder again. But not for one moment do I regret my decision.
“The lure of being there for the first premiership made me stay. I sought advice from Andrew Ettingshausen because I’m sure he would have been offered deals elsewhere, but he stayed.
“People think it’s an easy decision, but when you feel invested in something, you want to stay and get the job done. My dad drove home to me to stay loyal and be a one-club man, and I’m glad I did.”
While there have been whispers of him playing on, the 37-year-old says his body has made it clear that won’t be the case.
“I used to love the contact at training – I was the first one ripping in and tackling hard – but I don’t want to do that anymore," he said.
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- Martin Gabor