Gallen, 35, has played 277 games with Cronulla since making his NRL debut in 2001.
“I wasn’t really focused on chasing it up, we’re more focused on playing the games at the moment and getting wins”.
“There was never any doubt I was going play next year and it will probably be my last year”, Gallen said.
Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan says skipper Paul Gallen will be fit for Friday night’s preliminary final with the North Queensland Cowboys.
Gallen sat out the Sharks’ qualifying final victory over Canberra two weeks ago due to a back injury, and Tagataese hasn’t played in five weeks due to a shoulder problem.
“This Friday is the most important game of our careers and we’ll give it our all and hopefully get the win”. But he will lead them in their quest for a grand final spot against premiers the Cowboys at Allianz Stadium.
“I feel fresh, I feel good and I will be fine on Friday”.
“But I’ve got no concerns this week that come warm-up or come captain’s run that it’s going to go again”.
“Gal will be right”, he said at Sharks training at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday.
Cummins and Sutton will oversee the Sharks-Cowboys clash, while Cecchin and Shortall will officiate the Storm-Raiders game.
“A few of the older blokes like myself, Mick Ennis and Luke Lewis have really benefited”.
Sharks chief executive officer Lyall Gorman hailed Gallen’s influence on Cronulla, who are poised to snap a premiership drought since their inception into the competition in 1967.
“I think everyone knows he’s been our traditional leader on the field and off the field”, he said.
“There has been no greater clubman here at the Sharks”.