Mark Minichiello admits winning an elusive Grand Final ring is the major reason why he has decided to sign a one-year extension at Hull FC.
After a long and decorated career, the two-time Challenge Cup winner could easily walk away into the sunset at the age of 36, but the Australian instead insists he still has unfinished business with Hull.
Whilst Minichiello hasn’t given up hope of achieving Grand Final success this season with FC three points behind the play-off spots, the back rower is hedging his bets by sticking around another season to help the cause.
“I have been here four years now and I’m really happy to make it my fifth season at the club next year,” Minichiello told the Mail. “Now it’s all sorted I can purely concentrate on matters on the field in the next few weeks as we push for Old Trafford.
“I’ve already created some great memories here, but one of the key reasons I wanted to stay on was to try and help the side to a Grand Final appearance.
“I want to make sure I have the chance to achieve that. It’s something that I’ve never done in my career but I’m still keen to achieve.
“I believe the club are in a good position to do that, and if not this year, hopefully we can achieve it next season. We have the people here to be able to do it and that’s why I wanted to go around again in 2019.”
Minichiello will now play past his 37th birthday thanks to this one-year deal but insists his body is still in great shape.
“Most players are retired at my age but personally, I’m still feeling really physically fit. I’ve always strived to look after myself and luckily it seems to have worked and I’ve bought a few more years at the back end of my career,” Minichiello added.
“The coaching staff and the conditioners have played a role in my fitness too. They manage us really well individually and specific programmes for each players. That makes it a lot easier for older players like myself to keep going, and that’s a big credit to them.”