NRL premiers Sydney Roosters have finally locked in a new one-year contract with their veteran captain Anthony Minichiello.
The deal will keep 33-year-old fullback Minichiello at the club where he has played all 275 of his first grade games until the end of next season – his 15th in the top grade.
He is behind only former player Luke Ricketson (301) for most games for the club and could conceivably pass him in 2014 if he stays fit. He also holds its record for most tries with 122.
“My heart is and always will be with the Roosters,” said Minichiello, who led the Roosters to grand final glory over Manly on October 6.
“I’ve grown up here and it’s my home.”
Salary cap constraints are believed to be the reason for the delay in confirming Minichiello’s deal.
A former Golden Boot and Dally M Fullback of the Year, Minichiello was delighted to continue building the culture developed by new coach Trent Robinson this year.
“There’s a strong bond amongst our players here and I’m really excited that I’ll again lead the boys for another season,” said Minichiello.
Roosters chairman Nick Politis lauded one-club player Minichiello as “the ultimate role model for the Roosters and the game”.
Robinson said: “Mini is our leader and such a big part of our club. He has an incredible work ethic and I’m really pleased that his experience will continue to benefit the team around him.”