Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is trying to break into the NFL. Picture: Instagram
Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is trying to break into the NFL. Picture: Instagram

Holmes’ dig at Sharks after shock exit

FORMER NRL player Valentine Holmes says he regrets the way his exit from Cronulla panned out, but believes he got out at the right time given the current situation at the club.

Holmes stunned the Sharks in November when he asked for an immediate release to chase an NFL dream in the United States.

The 23-year-old has since been named in the NFL International Player Pathway Program and is currently training in Florida with other athletes who are also hoping to land a contract.

Holmes is currently two weeks into the three-month intensive program where he trains and studies the game up to 16 hours a day.

"It didn't really come out the way I had planned it to, and I did want to go on and do a media release properly and tell the boys properly before it got leaked," Holmes said of his Sharks departure.

Following his release from the Sharks, the club were fined $800,000 and coach Shane Flanagan deregistered after revelations the mentor breached the terms of his 2014 suspension over the infamous supplements scandal.

Former Cronulla Shark Valentine Holmes is attempting to break into the NFL. Picture: Brett Costello
Former Cronulla Shark Valentine Holmes is attempting to break into the NFL. Picture: Brett Costello

The evidence was uncovered during the NRL Integrity Unit's investigation into the Sharks' 2015 salary cap breaches, something which is still hanging over the club.

Flanagan has since resigned with the club currently interviewing interim coach John Morris and Penrith assistant Cameron Ciraldo for the top job.

"The club has been hit with a lot. Not only the club but the NRL," Holmes said.

"Probably, in a way, it was a good time I got out."

Valentine Holmes. Picture: Brett Costello
Valentine Holmes. Picture: Brett Costello

Holmes' NFL dream is a huge gamble considering the Sharks were willing to table him a $5 million offer over five years which would've made him one of the highest paid players in the club's history.

But even if he hadn't decided to jet off to the States, Holmes, who hails from Townsville, said the 2019 NRL season would've been his last in the black, white and blue.

When asked if he'd like to join the Cowboys if his NFL plans didn't work out, he replied: "Yeah, I think so.

"If I didn't make this decision, it was probably going to be my last year at the Sharks."