The Bulldogs interviewed prospective coach Trent Barrett before Dean Pay had quit the club, as CEO Andrew Hill refuted suggestions there is a “poisonous” culture at Canterbury.
After Pay’s announced his exit on Tuesday morning, front-runner Barrett was urged to be wary of the Bulldogs – most vocally by NRL legend Laurie Daley who launched a stunning condemnation of the club’s infighting.
Daley said that Barrett, a Penrith assistant who has already had a failed stint coaching Manly, had one more chance as an NRL head coach and could ruin his career by taking on a troubled club such as Canterbury.
But speaking to Nine’s Danny Weidler on Tuesday evening, Hill refuted claims of dissent in the Bulldogs’ ranks and revealed the club had already interviewed with Barrett prior to Pay’s decision to leave.
“Absolutely not,” Hill asserted when asked if there was “poison or uncertainty” behind the scenes at Canterbury.
“We’re a big club we understand that our role being such a big club in Sydney is that there are always going to be people that pick as side.
“Certainly, from Sunday night when Dean and I started to talk that we had to move forward, there’s been conversations and we will continue to have them with prospective coaches. We’ll look at all opportunities”
The development comes as Cronulla Sharks great Paul Gallen insisted the only way for Trent Barrett to lead the club out of their rut should he take the top job, is to spend big.
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“They’ve got a whole lot of money to spend in the off-season and they’ve got to go and get some playing talent,” Gallen told Wide World of Sports Radio on 2GB.
“At the end of the day you look at the playing roster, and I’ve said this before, the Bulldogs playing roster and the Titans playing roster is second-rate compared to the rest of the competition, it really is.
“The roster they’ve got, it’s hard to compete with the likes of the Roosters and Melbourne week-in week-out, they just can’t do it. So, they need to go buy some players, that’s the first thing they’ve got to do. If they get a decent roster next year, with a guy like Trent Barrett, you’d like to think thins would change if you’re a bulldogs fan.”