Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs can mathematically no longer make the finals in 2020 after their loss to the Warriors.
Bulldogs fans would understandably be upset by this, considering that just 12 months ago, the club was on an unlikely winning streak that saw them eliminated from finals contention with only two weeks to go in the regular season.
Now they find themselves unable to reach post-season football with a whole month left.
Their 2020 may not have turned out the way they wanted to, but Bulldogs fans can look forward to 2021 for the following reasons.
NEW HEAD COACH
Trent Barrett will officially be joining the Bulldogs on a three-year deal as head coach in 2021.
His head coaching resume doesn’t give punters too much to go off of in terms of consistently being a good or bad coach.
In 2016, Barrett got the head coaching gig at Manly, and the club would finish 13th, although he hadn’t had time to build his roster. The following season the Sea Eagles would have an impressive year and make the finals. Unfortunately, Barrett would leave Manly in 2018 after a poor season and reportedly losing favour with certain players.
While Trent Barrett is a risky signing for the Bulldogs in terms of his coaching experience, bringing in a fresh face at the helm of the football squad will in turn naturally cause change to an extent.
At the moment, the Bulldogs are in dire need of a change.
— Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (@NRL_Bulldogs) August 24, 2020
MONEY TO SPEND
The Bulldogs reportedly have the most salary cap space of any NRL club, and they need to use it.
Josh Addo-Carr has confirmed he will be leaving the Melbourne Storm at year’s end to return to Sydney. Canterbury requires an outside back with x-factor, and the ”Foxx” has plenty of it.
Charlie Staines and Nicho Hynes are also available and would be superb additions at Belmore.
UNDERRATED FORWARD PACK
Even during this tough era for the Bulldogs, they have retained a quality forward pack that is not too far off top right standard.
Super League winner Luke Thompson has looked solid after joining halfway through the year, a full pre-season at Belmore can only improve his form.
Joe Stimson will return from injury and give the side a real boost, not to mention the decent form Raymond Faitala-Mariner has displayed, the recent re-signing of Adam Elliot and the great leadership qualities consistently on show from Josh Jackson and Aiden Tolman.