Rumours had him linked to the Cronulla Sharks for some time and the move has eventuated, with current Sydney Roosters five-eighth James Maloney to depart the club at season’s end.
His deal with the Sharks begins in the 2016 season and goes for three years, with the Orange local embarking on a new challenge.
With a young family, the Roosters know that Maloney has to do what is best for him and whilst they are disappointed to let him go, they thanked him for his services to the club.
â€œWhile we are very disappointed to have not been able to retain James, we respect his decision to do what is in the best interests of both himself and his young family,â€ said Roosters Chief Operating Officer Football, Brian Canavan.
â€œSince joining us in 2013, James has certainly been a wonderful character and keen contributor as a senior member of our squad both on and off the field, and Iâ€™m sure he will continue to be for the remainder of the season,â€ he added.
Those sentiments were re-iterated by coach Trent Robinson and he also thanked Maloney for his time and service to the club.
â€œNot only is James a gifted footy player, heâ€™s a great character and an even better man, and itâ€™s been a pleasure to work with him over the last few seasons,â€ said Robinson.
â€œWeâ€™re not done yet though, and Iâ€™m looking forward to continuing to work closely with Jimmy for the rest of the year as we work towards a strong finish,â€ he added.
For Maloney himself, he is sad to leave the Roosters but admits that his mind is now at ease with his decision made.
â€œThis definitely hasnâ€™t been an easy decision for me. The Roosters have been great to me and my family since I got here and Iâ€™ve made some lifelong mates at the Club,â€ said Maloney.
â€œWhile itâ€™s sad to be leaving the Club and the boys, now that my future is sorted out, my main focus right now is doing the best job I can for the Roosters for the rest of this year,â€ he added.
Having won a premiership with the Roosters in 2013, Maloney is also an adept goal-kicker and has represented the NSW Origin side in the past.
With the signing of Maloney now complete, the Sharks are pleased that he will be a part of their club moving forward.
â€œJames is a quality addition to our 2016 roster, with his attacking flair and general play kicking first class,â€ Flanagan said.
â€œThatâ€™s not forgetting he is an elite goal kicker and I look forward to him joining our club.
â€œHe has indicated to me today that he is looking forward to joining up with and playing alongside experienced forwards in our club like Gallen, Lewis, Graham Ennis and Fifita.
â€œAnd he is even more excited about playing with our emerging talented juniors and young stars such as Val Homes, Jack Bird, Sosaia Feki and Ricky Leutele.â€