The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs’ time for action is now.
With a massive amount of money in the cap to spend for season 2021, they must get a move on before fans lose faith for good. They breed ‘em tough in the Kennel, and while blue and white fans are among the game’s most maligned, they truly are a great bunch of passionate die-hards. Most clubs’ fan bases would argue the same for themselves. I guess that’s the nature of a rugby league tragic. But sometimes, enough almost feels like enough. You feel like switching off the TV, or leaving a game early and never coming back. That never happens and each week fans of teams like the Bulldogs, Broncos or the Titans keep coming back for more disappointment. The sad thing is, the Bulldogs are a very proud club who are on the brink of success. After years of missing the finals, boardroom battles and having next to no salary cap to work with (thank you previous management) they finally have their cards in place.
So when will the action happen? Will they announce some signings, an extension for Dean Pay, or perhaps the sacking of a man who hasn’t had a chance to coach with his own assembled squad? We’re now in July and the shortened competition is quickly coming to an end. Maybe I’m just impatient? I’m not sure. But I just feel the club are going too slow. Before you know it, the likes of Josh Addo-Carr, Curtis Rona, Tohu Harris, Alex Johnston, Nick Cotric and others who have been linked to the Bulldogs and their war chest (gee I hate that term) will have had enough and signed elsewhere.
So why are things taking so long? Granted, none of us have an idea of what goes on behind the scenes, but you’d think by July something more than a single signing would have been announced. Performances on the field are gutsy, full of heart and determination, but sadly it’s clear they are five or so very good players away from being a top eight side. The $3 million+ they have to spend in 2021 can cater for that and then some. But there are tough calls that need to be made and questions that need answering this month. Starting with Pay as coach.
Some of his team selections are baffling (such as Kerrod Holland as a bench hooker despite specialist Tongan dummy half Sione Katoa ready to go), but for mine he’s shown enough to warrant another extension, especially with money to spend. It would be great to see how he coaches a side made up of more than one or two top quality rep players (no disrespect intended to the young fellas who have busted their guts over the past 18 months and more).
I think it’s safe to say the time for the club to come out and give their fans some clarity is now. They can only go on for so long sitting in the dark, wondering why the club is appearing so reactive rather than proactive.
I can’t speak highly enough of Lynne Anderson, Andrew Hill and their staff. I think they are 110 per cent committed to the club with the best intentions at heart. They are wonderful professionals and wonderful people. But those two can only do so much. I hope the people around them are backing them as well.