Nicho Hynes never wanted to leave the Storm, so telling Craig Bellamy and Frank Ponissi he'd signed with the Sharks was the toughest part of his young career.
But the 24-year-old breakout star is excited about helping incoming Cronulla coach Craig Fitzgibbon execute his "vision" - one he believes is similar to Bellamy's masterful approach.
Hynes revealed Melbourne were keen to extend his time at the club, but with a lack of starting spots available, he will join the Sharks until the end of 2024 and is expected to play five-eighth.
"I would have loved to stay at this club. This club's given me everything," said Hynes, who played a starring role in Sunday's win over the Warriors.
"If I could've stayed here and started - without taking anything away from me signing with the Sharks - I would've loved to stay here and be here forever because this is the club that gave me the opportunity to be an NRL player and live my dream."
Every try from Round 14
He struggled with informing coach Bellamy and general manager of football Ponissi that he would be departing at season's end but wanted to make sure they heard the news from him first.
"I was really dreading to call Craig and Frank over to decide how that conversation [would go]," the Storm fullback said.
"But we were all honest with each other from the start and they were happy with me going and speaking to other clubs and seeing what the best opportunity was.
Match Highlights: Warriors v Storm
"They did want to keep me and I had a lot of conversations with Craig and Frank about them wanting to keep me.
"It got a little bit emotional, as it would, but they knew they probably couldn't keep me because I do want to be a starting player."
And that's what Fitzgibbon could promise him.
"To the media, [the Cronulla deal] seemed to happen very quickly, but Fitzy was in contact with me for a couple of weeks there," he said.
"He was the one who made me decide to go to Cronulla because of his vision for the club and the way he wants to turn things around and the way he wants to play footy.
"Everything he told me I felt was similar to how Bellza is. And if I'm going to go somewhere, I want it to be similar to [Melbourne] ... Craig Fitzgibbon's a really good dude and even Bellza and Frank gave him a rap, so I guess I've got their blessings too."
After landing Hynes, Fitzgibbon told veteran halfback Shaun Johnson, among others, that he wouldn't be re-signed for 2022.
Get Caught Up: Round 14 must-see moments
It leaves Hynes without a dominant halves partner at this stage but he is prepared to shoulder more playmaking responsibility.
"People can say it's daunting because I'm going there to be the main man, but I'll work as hard as I can to make sure I'm going there to play good footy and win games of football," he said.
"If I go there and don't do that, then that's my own fault, no one else's. If I put the work in then I'm confident I can be successful there."
With usual Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen still recovering from a head knock, Hynes will again wear the No.1 jersey in Saturday's clash with the Wests Tigers on the Sunshine Coast.
Papenhuyzen could return against the Roosters in round 16 and Hynes will happily move to another role if that's the case.