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The Sharks can announce that talented young hooker Blayke Brailey has signed a long-term contract extension with the Cronulla Club.

The 23-year-old Brailey, who was already contracted to the Club for 2022, today put pen to paper in finalising the new four-year deal which will see him remain in Sharks colours until at least the end of the 2026 season.

Despite interest from other teams, Brailey expressed that a desire to remain at the club where his NRL journey began as a 13-year-old Academy player was a major factor in committing to the Sharks long term.

“It’s the place I grew up, I was a local junior, I obviously wanted to stay here, so I’m excited to be a part of the future,” Brailey said. “This was my first choice, I really wanted to stay, so I’m grateful to get it done.”

After coming through the ranks at the Sharks, with his junior career including incredible success at a club level with the Aquinas Colts, his team winning 10 consecutive Cronulla Junior League titles, Brailey would then play a pivotal role in the Sharks SG Ball success in 2015.

The Sharks won both the NSWRL and National under-18 championships.

It’s the place I grew up, I was a local junior, I obviously wanted to stay here, so I’m excited to be a part of the future.

Blayke Brailey

From there he represented the Sharks at an under-20’s level, before graduating to the NRL squad, where Brailey would make his top-grade debut alongside his brother Jayden in round 1 of the 2019 season.

He has since gone on to play 59 NRL games, including all 24 matches of the 2021 season, with Brailey now hard at it in the first few weeks of the pre-season and excited about the Sharks immediate future under new coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

“He (Fitzgibbon) was good about the whole situation and a reason why I wanted to stay. The first two weeks have been great, he’s a really knowledgeable coach and I’m excited to be working under him,” Brailey said.

One of the Sharks returning stars, Brailey has also been impressed with the newcomers and also those teammates back on deck through the early weeks of the 2022 pre-season.

“Already with the pre-season I’m seeing a lot of change, the boys have come back fit and healthy and it’s a real good feel around training at the moment,” he said.

“(The new recruits) are fitting in perfectly. They are training really well and I’m enjoying building some connections with them.

“We all know what we’ve got and we’re excited to see where we can go,” Brailey added.