The news of Trent Barrett’s resignation as Bulldogs coach came as a surprise to me, as he clearly had the overwhelming support of Phil Gould.
Gus is the boss there, he works on the football side, and whenever there was a tussle with the coaching job Gus was in a straight defensive position, to be honest it was like a red rag to a bull. Whenever Trent was told to stay under pressure, he stopped.
Barrett was only halfway through his three-year contract, so I think the split is premature.
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Obviously, as I’ve written many times, rugby league is a results-driven business, and so far no results have been found for Trent.
He’s got five wins in 34 weeks, which isn’t ideal, but I see what he had to deal with last year with the roster, which we all know was sub-par, and I don’t think it has improved much this year.
Their best signing is a winger, Josh Addo-Carr, and only one winger can. He is not directing the play. He’s at the end of most games, he’s not leading the team around the field.
Their second best signature is Matt Burton. I met Matt Burton, he’s a very quiet guy, he would never enter a club and start telling others what to do.
They need a halfback that is going to do it, an old-school halfback that drives the team around the park and lets Burton run it. For me it’s Kyle Flanagan, but he’s only been back in first grade for a few weeks.
The rest of their signatures, you have to remember many of them left their previous clubs. They were happy to let them go, not that there was a tug-of-war to hold them.
It doesn’t matter who is coaching the team, what the roster is and they are years away from being truly competitive.
The signatures of Ado-Carr and Burton were good, I have no doubt they are both star of the game, but a winger and Dolly M Center of the Year who is now playing fifth-eighth is not going to take either. The team from the wooden spoon to the final.
The reality is that one person is easier to get rid of – coaches – than 17 players who are not necessarily performing. You can’t pay for 17 contracts, it just doesn’t work that way.
But I don’t know of any coach who could go there with that current roster and do a lot with it, and the fact is that the make-up for the 2022 roster had little or no effect on either Gus and Barrett.
Gus spent less than a year there, and Trent was in his second season, so many contracts hangover past. Trent has done what he can, but I don’t think you can blame both.
The problem is that when you’re at the bottom of the ladder, it’s very difficult to bring a top player to your club, and if you do, you usually have to give over to attract the player, and it hits you down the track.
It’s a vicious circle.
Everyone remembers Penrith’s famous five-year plan, which finally won them a premiere almost a decade later, but it’s too long to completely revise your list. It doesn’t happen overnight.
The two things that people don’t fully understand are that you have to fill your roster, and you have to spend 95 percent of your salary cap. This is the real problem of clubs.
If you try to sign someone to fill your list, but he is your average first grader, managers know all the techniques, they know the rules inside. Instead of being able to sign a one-year contract with that average player, you are often forced to offer a two- or three-year contract because you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Because managers know that you have to sign 30 players and use 95 percent of your salary, instead of getting a roster-filler at $ 200,000 for one year, you can stick with it for two or three years at $ 300,000. .
You multiply it by two or three players, and all of a sudden your pay cap gets a bit confusing, because you have really good money between some of the players who are not going to win the game for you.
It is a very difficult situation to manage clubs.
Another problem for clubs when they go into reconstruction is that people expect immediate results. Fans pay their dues, they go on the field, and if they see a team they think they aren’t performing up to first grade standards they won’t be ashamed to let everyone know.
And they call for the first thing? The coach will be fired. Everyone sees this as the easiest solution. Remember, just two years ago Bulldogs fans wanted to fire Dean Peck.
In my experience, like the head coach bad cop, he is an angry one who always gives orders, assistant coaches usually play good policing role and maintain a kind of balance.
Once you lose the boss, everyone takes their feet off some of the gas. I remember in 2014 when Shane Flanagan wasn’t on the shark, it was like staying at school when there were no regular teachers and relief teachers came, everyone started playing a little bit.
Once the boss leaves, everyone reduces a few percent, whether conscious or unconscious. It is just a reality of life. It’s not unique to a football team, it probably happens in most workplaces in the country.
With the appointment of a full-time coach for 2023, it will be interesting to see where the Bulldogs go from here. Shane Flanagan and Paul Green are probably rivals, like Cameron Ciraldo if you want a job, and I don’t think his lack of experience as head coach is a problem, because you’ve got gas there.
It would be nice to have a rookie head coach under Gus, especially Siraldo, who knows Gus very well.
But fans need to keep in mind that the list won’t change suddenly. There are no real winners here, it’s going to be a long way for the Bulldogs to get back to the top
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