Trent Barrett can’t say he hasn’t been warned.
Before Barrett became coach of the Bulldogs, icon of the rugby league Laurie Daley told him that work – trying to fix a poor team amid political infighting – could ruin his career.
“Trent, he still has an opportunity. If he fails his next job, well, he won’t be a freshman coach anymore. I think if he sits down and waits, he’ll have an opportunity somewhere out there. the way, “Daley said.
“If I were him, if I was leading him, I would say, ‘Mate, be very, very careful’.”
Even after Barrett signed with legendary coach Canterbury Phil Gould urged him consider reverting to the agreement. Daley’s warning was surprising; Gould’s was pretty amazing.
“I’m sure Trent Barrett doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into and if I was associated with Trent Barrett in any way, shape or form, I think I would advise him to reconsider his decision,” said Gould.
“I would almost be inclined to refuse it and go back to where it is [Penrith assistant coach] and wait a little longer because Bulldogs are a mess. Behind the scenes, it’s a toxic mess. “
The Bulldogs duly collapsed to 0-3 in Barrett’s first three games. They have failed to score a point in their last two games, including against reigning Brisbane Wooden Spoons in the last round.
Perhaps the defining image of this game was when Adam Elliott found space and had a single draw for Kyle Flanagan to score, just 12 minutes away with the score still 0-0. Elliott threw the ball too far past Flanagan, who fumbled about 10 yards from the line to bombard a certain try.
Even the simple things aren’t going to happen easily to Barrett in Canterbury. The former Dally M medalist faced a 15th-ranked team, backed by a warring club boardroom. He did so in his second and possibly last chance as head coach of the NRL, having acrimoniously left Manly. The clock is already ticking on his career.
So where do you go from here after such a dismal start?
NSW and former Roosters coach Brad Fittler told Wide World of Sports Barrett at least needs a fair chance to topple the Bulldogs. The former Five-eighth Test signed a three-year contract.
“It was always going to be tough and the Dogs over the past two years just haven’t been able to score, for whatever reason,” Fittler said on Freddy and the eighth.
“I’m a Brandon Wakeham fan because I think he’s someone who can actually earn you points. I don’t really see a lot of points in their team.
“I would have it in there. There are a few other players that I think I would trade.
“It’s one of those things, when you take the job you take it for a few years because realistically I’m not sure anyone was going to make the semifinals this year.
“They have some good players coming up, obviously Matt Burton is one of them. Josh Addo-Carr is another.”
While the Bulldogs have done pretty well in recruiting, welcoming Nick Cotric, Kyle Flanagan, Corey Allan and Jack Hetherington this season, rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns said the club faced the dreaded burden of being in the league. foot of the scale: pay overs.
“It must be difficult to rebuild a club when players leave their contracts at strong clubs and they can go to the Bulldogs for an extra $ 100,000 or $ 150,000,” Johns said. Freddy and the eighth.
“Then you just weigh, ‘Well, do I want to be happy every week and win and win a title?’ It must be so hard. “
Fittler said the overpayment also applied to existing players when it came to struggling clubs.
“It’s hard because you pay more for the good players and the ones you love at your club these days, because the managers are just in you, you could also pay them more to keep the players in your club.” , did he declare.
“You need a little luck, a little luck.”
And after the first few games, apparently some basic skills. Barrett is rebuilding the Bulldogs almost from scratch, with a little more than guts on their side; and even that was a bit lacking in the first three laps.
“Defending would be good and holding the ball would be a start too,” said Fittler.
“It’s hard to attack from your own side. They let go of a lot of basic and fundamental mistakes. Seriously.”
The Bulldogs last played in the football final in 2016, Des Hasler’s penultimate season as Canterbury coach. Dean Pay coached the team to two 12th place before being sacked in the middle of last season.
Hasler was sent to pack his bags after his first failure to advance to the final, having guided Canterbury to the final for the previous five seasons. Pay walked away amid claims he never really had a chance to succeed and that he had not been “disrespected” by club officials. It remains to be seen how Barrett will be treated.
Barrett was a vaunted attack trainer in Penrith and at least seems well suited to the arduous task of lighting the Bulldogs.
He will undoubtedly be desperate to welcome Burton to his squad in 2022, as the Panthers have turned down an outing for this season, and is hoping the ax doesn’t already start to loom over his head next year.
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