John Frare, Gardner’s manager was keen for both his client, and the Sharks to get the deal sorted, and put pen to paper before the New Year came around.
â€œItâ€™s exactly what I wanted,â€ Gardner said.
â€œI didnâ€™t want to start the season off contract so itâ€™s good to know Iâ€™ll be here for at least another three years.
â€œI couldnâ€™t be happier with the club, everyone has been amazing and I love playing for the Sharks.â€
Gardner finished as the Sharks highest try-scorer for the season in 2010 including a breathtaking solo effort against the Roosters that was unlucky not to win try of the year.
â€œ2010 was obviously a massive year for myself in so many ways.â€
â€œI joined the club at the start of the season and was just hoping to get one game under my belt, but I ended up playing sixteen straight and couldnâ€™t have asked for anymore.â€
â€œMy big test now is to really cement the fullback spot and make it my own and to do that I need to keep improving my game and playing consistent footy.â€
In Gardner’s view, having experienced representative players such as Jeremy Smith and Paul Gallen in their team was a bonus for the Sharks as they look to have a better season in 2011.
â€œHaving such experienced and competitive players in the side gives you so much more confidence.â€
â€œIâ€™m so excited for the 2011 season to kick off and knowing that we have a solid team with a great coach puts no doubt in my mind that we will be successful.â€
â€œThe Sharks are only on the up and Iâ€™m very happy being a part of it.â€
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan is also over the moon that Gardner has re-signed with the Sharks, describing him as an integral part of the team
â€œItâ€™s great news for the Sharks and Iâ€™d like to think Nathan will be our fullback for the next five to ten years,â€ Flanagan said.
â€œI look back at some of the successful Sharks eraâ€™s and theyâ€™ve all had a quality fullback like Peachey and Docking.
â€œI had doubts about his size early on, but Iâ€™m confident Nathan can be that player and really stamp his authority on the game.
â€œHe had a brilliant first season, scoring two length of the field tries and he has certainly taken some steps during the pre season to ensure 2011 will be just as good, if not better.â€