Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
One of the feel-good stories of this off-season is Josh Reynolds returning to the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
Following a five-year stint away from the club that saw him play for the Wests Tigers and Hull FC in Super League Reynolds is returning to the Bulldogs where he played his first 138 NRL games.
Reynolds would also win a State of Origin series with New South Wales whilst a Bulldog and played in two Grand Finals for the club during their most successful period since they last won a premiership in 2004.
In a recent interview with Alicia Newton from the NRL’s official website Reynolds opened up on his departure from the Bulldogs and his potential return after his train and trial deal.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t watching them from afar when I left,” said Reynolds.
“My time at the Tigers wasn’t how I wanted it to pan out or how I envisioned it would all go down when I left.
“I almost came back to the Bulldogs after that contract but ended up over in the UK.”
Reynolds then spoke about the discussions he had with certain people about possibly returning to the Bulldogs.
Had a chat to @joshreynolds9 about all things footy and off-field life a couple of weeks ago.
Great to see him back in Bulldogs colours regardless of what happens over the pre-season with his contract. 🐶 https://t.co/9Tog2ER2sh
— Alicia Newton (@anewts91) December 24, 2022
“I said to ‘Gus’ [Phil Gould] I’d love to be a part of what they’re building here, whatever that looked like,” Reynolds said.
“It is a young squad. I had a chat to ‘Jacko’ [Josh Jackson] about it and thought it wasn’t a bad idea that I try and give it a crack.
When discussing whether he’ll actually get to play in the Bulldogs NRL side, he made it clear that’s his goal but whatever role handed to him, he’s happy with.
“I want to play, that’s my priority.
“But I also walk into the sheds and there’s 18-year-old kids training with us and I know how daunting that can be, to walk into a first grade team.
“It’s my 13th year in the NRL and any sort of tips I can give to those boys I’m happy to do that and if that’s the role that’s needed I’ll be OK with that.”
This pre-season is all the more important to Reynolds as his efforts will determine whether or not he once again joins the first-grade squad for 2023.
If he is unsuccessful there is the option of signing with the club’s New South Wales Cup side but it is believed that Reynolds will take up a junior coaching role if he does not earn an NRL contract at the Bulldogs.