It was a long time coming and amid reports that he was unsettled at the Brisbane Broncos, there is a new chapter on the horizon for Ben Barba, after he signed a 3-year deal with the Cronulla Sharks.
Granted a release by the Broncos from the last two years of his contract, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan knows how crucial of a player Barba will be to the side.
â€œIâ€™m sure Sharks fans will be really excited about watching Benny play,â€ Flanagan began.
â€œHe has flair, x-factor and try scoring ability, but itâ€™s not just about the tries he scores, itâ€™s the tries he creates and the opportunities he provides for others.
â€œOur attack is an area we need to improve, Iâ€™ve focused a lot of my recruitment around that and Benny fits perfectly into the team Iâ€™m trying to build.â€
For Barba, although it was disappointing to leave the Broncos, he knows he has to do what is best for his family and that meant signing with the Sharks for added security.
To add to that, Barba is confident that the Sharks can go places in season 2015 and looks forward to forming new partnerships with his new team-mates.
â€œI realise I am a professional sportsman and must go where the work is to support and provide for my young family and although it is unfortunate I have had to leave the Brisbane Broncos after just one year, I am grateful to Shane and the Sharks Board for providing me with this opportunity to join their club,â€ Barba said
â€œI believe the Sharks have a quality squad and I look forward to playing alongside Captain Paul Gallen and former Bulldogs team mate Mick Ennis down at Remondis Stadium from next season.â€
For the Broncos, after deliberation with Barba and his representative/s, they opted to release him and Broncos Chief Executive Paul White had the following to say in their official club statement:
â€œThe Broncos today give Ben Barba a release from the final two years of his contract,â€ said Broncosâ€™ chief executive Paul White.
â€œWe want to thank Ben for all the efforts he put in over the past year in what was a very long and tough season.
â€œFrom everyone at the club, we would like to wish him and his family all the very best for the future.â€