Cronulla’s 2016 grand final hero Michael Ennis is returning home to Shark Park after quitting his coaching consultancy role at the Parramatta Eels.
The Fox Sports star has accepted an offer from coach Craig Fitzgibbon to oversee pathways development at the club’s elite junior academy from 13 to 20-year-olds.
He started in the role last week.
“It felt so nice to have the Sharks shirt on again and driving through the gates,” Ennis said.
“I got really excited about it when Fitzy rang to return to the club that is so special to me.
“I’m really passionate about junior pathways and my job will be to ensure the Sharks youngsters have a healthy environment. I love watching and helping kids chasing their NRL dreams.”
Michael Ennis is back at Cronulla. Picture: Brett Costello
Ennis is one of the game’s most highly regarded young coaches.
He helped Brad Arthur take the Eels to last year’s grand final and before that assisted Ricky Stuart take the Canberra Raiders to the 2019 decider.
“I spoke to Brad Arthur towards the end of last year,” Ennis said.
“I explained I couldn’t be a full-time assistant because of Fox Sports, where I’ve got a job that I love.
“I could only be there a couple of days a week as a consultant.
“So then Fitzy rang and I’m back at the Sharks.”
Ennis played 274 NRL games, 51 of those over two seasons at the Sharks, where he signed from the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Fitzgibbon says it’s a key signing for the Sharks: “I’m excited to have Mick on board.
“He was a premiership winning player here and since retiring he’s maintained a close involvement in the game through his Fox Sports commentary and as an NRL coaching consultant.
“Mick is a local resident with a keen interest in junior league and has a passion for coaching.
“Our young pathway and academy players will definitely benefit from his knowledge and experience.”