How many of these Sharks players will be with the team in 2017?
Photo Source: AAP
Once the Cronulla players come back from enjoying their historic premiership win, they face an uphill battle to repeat the feat in 2017, believes Brad Fittler.
With the last team to win back-to-back titles being Brisbane back in 1992-93, Fittler spoke of how many things run against the premiers repeating the dose the next year.
Talk has already begun on the big challenge Cronulla face, for example, in holding on to their talented young squad.
"Yeah, I think it’s been proven [how tough it is to maintian your roster]," said Fittler to Sportsfan's Will McCloy.
"A team hasn't been able to win back-to-back now for 25 years."
"These young blokes will just be attacked [by recruiters from other clubs]. There'll be a frenzy …"
"It's very hard to keep them all together."
The NSW and NRL great noted that maintaining a roster is just one of many problems a titleholder comes up against. Inevitably, the motivation to succeed is hard to replicate.
"It’s hard to climb the mountain again because you've got to work so hard in the pre-season," said Fittler.
"You sort-of forget actually how hard you worked and the sacrifices everyone would have made."
"You just slip out of that really hungry zone."
Fittler also mentioned the logistical reasons as to why clubs find the going tougher post-premiership.
"And you get worn down; they'll have more people now touring and representing in the off-season," he said.
"And you've also played an extra week longer than everyone, so all your operations are put back."
"And everyone starts attacking your staff … whether it's fitness or medical [staff], they all start getting pecked [at] from different clubs as well."
Check out the full interview with Brad Fittler here or by clicking the video player above.