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Gallen: 'It's just time to win it'

Sporting News Sporting News 28/09/2016
Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen © Getty Images Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen

Cronulla captain Paul Gallen says the club's charge to the 2016 NRL grand final began midway through last season when both he and his team-mates finally emerged from the dark cloud cast over the team by the ASADA scandal.

Gallen was one of 10 past-and-present Sharks players who accepted backdated 12-month anti-doping bans resulting from the club's 2011 supplements scandal.

The Sharks finished last in 2014 and Gallen admits he couldn't see the bright future that lay ahead for the Shire Club.

"If you had have asked me back then, 'would I have been here now?' I would have said no," Gallen told Fairfax.

"We just weren't in a good space. But come probably midway through last season blokes, like me and Wade (Graham), we just started having fun again and enjoying football.

"We didn't care (in 2014). It's hard to explain. We were just turning up. We weren't all there, a lot of us.

"But, as I said, midway through last year we found the fun again, and here we are."

The Sharks are searching for their first premiership since entering the comp in 1967.

They made the grand final in 1973, '78 (which they lost in a replay) and '97 (Super League) but are yet to win the big dance.

Gallen says the time has come to finally lift the trophy for long-suffering Sharks fans.

"It's a big opportunity for us, we've got to make the most of it Sunday," he said.

"We built last year, we got all of that crap (from 2014)out of our heads and just started to enjoy football again, come the start of this year our squad got even stronger, we had a goal to finish top four, that goal turned into trying to win the minor premiership and it turned into semi-final football and being there on grand final day, now it's just time to win it.

"It would mean a hell of a lot (to win it), I've been here for a long time, devoted my whole career to the club, the club's obviously never won one, we know that, it would mean a hell of a lot, it's not the be all and end all of my life or my career but it's a major part of it."

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