Trindall confident in guiding Sharks

Troy Whittaker |

Braydon Trindall feels equipped to take charge of a new-look Cronulla team alongside Nicho Hynes having benefited from an extended run in first grade last season.

With star recruit Hynes guaranteed a halves spot, Trindall and veteran Matt Moylan are seemingly competing to partner the former Melbourne playmaker under new coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

While Trindall has only played 23 NRL matches – including 10 straight in the halves to finish 2021 – the 22-year-old makes no secret of his desire to establish himself as a starter.

“One hundred per cent. After last year and getting those games in, I’ve moved into this year pretty confident,” Trindall told AAP.

“I’m just putting my best foot forward at training and I guess we’ll have to see what Fitzy decides. Last year I got 18 games throughout the year and most of them were starting.

“The boys that I played with gave me a lot of confidence as a young half to really be able to step up and play that role now. I think it really developed my game.”

Trindall said the Sharks had been “chopping and changing” positions so far in the pre-season but he’s already begun to form a combination with Hynes.

“He’s a really good player and he’s really upbeat with everything he does,” he said of the newcomer.

“I’m learning a few things off him and working with him. It’s been going pretty well.”

If he doesn’t get the number six or seven jersey against the Raiders in round one, Trindall would happily play off the bench at dummy-half or lock and bide his time.

Fitzgibbon put faith in Trindall before he’d officially picked up the clipboard at Cronulla, signing the youngster until the end of 2024 in June and allowing the experienced Shaun Johnson to move on.

Moylan, meanwhile, was given a one-year extension to find fitness and form.

“Knowing that I’m part of his plans for the future was a big relief for me. I can just focus on my footy now, I feel at home at this club,” Trindall said.

“It felt good knowing that he was backing me.”

As Fitzgibbon preaches the importance of thorough preparation, big-name recruits Cameron McInnes (St George Illawarra) and Dale Finucane (Melbourne) are unsurprisingly leading by example.

“When it’s not even full-on at training, they still do it full-on,” Trindall said.

“It’s crazy how hard they train and it’s just the people they are. They take it from training and put it on the field. It’s really upped the standards of the club.

“Everyone’s giving it back to them and having a crack at training.”