Phil Gould ‘doesn’t have anyone in mind’ to replace Brent Barrett and ‘NOBODY’ has applied for the Bulldogs job yet…as Canterbury supremo reveals club needs ‘an experienced man’ and expects Shane Flanagan and Paul Green to ‘be in the mix’ for the role
Phil Gould claimed he has ‘doesn’t have anyone in mind’ to replace Brent Barrett in the hot seat at Canterbury, but hinted his preference was to appoint an ‘experienced’ coach with an interim in charge until the end of the season.
Barrett left his role at the Bulldogs on Monday, resigning halfway through his three-year deal with the team bottom of the NRL ladder three days after a 16-6 loss against Newcastle on Magic Round.
The Doggies have won just five of their 34 games since Barrett took charge in 2021 and are on course to claim the wooden spoon for the second consecutive year.
Phil Gould said on Monday he was surprised by Trent Barrett’s resignation and insisted neither he nor the club were going to fire him despite the dismal results
Speaking to Nine 100% Footy show on Monday night, the Canterbury supremo said he was still in the dark as to whom may replace Barrett.
‘My thought at the moment is that we put in an interim coach until the end of the season,’ he said.
‘I don’t have anyone in mind. […] I think it’s a job for an experienced man. It’s not an easy situation.’
Asked whether former Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan or former Queensland boss Paul Green were in the frame, Gould replied: ‘I’m sure they’ll be in the mix. […] ‘I’ll have to see who applies first.
Barrett resigned from his role as Bulldogs coach on Monday after a 16-6 loss to Newcastle in Magic Round on Friday night
‘No one’s applied as yet. Player managers ring to see when we’re taking applications. Over the next couple of weeks people will start to get busy.’
Flanagan won the 2016 Grand Final with the Sharks and took charge of 185 games as Cronulla coach in two separate spells, but hasn’t coached in the NRL since 2018.
Green, meanwhile, coached the Cowboys in 167 games over six seasons, leading North Queensland to their 2015 Grand Final triumph.
Having missed the finals just six times in the NRL’s first 18 years, the Bulldogs haven’t finished in the top eight since 2016, when they lost their elimination against Penrith.
The Bulldogs supremo said on Nine’s 100% Footy show that he will prefer to appoint an interim coach until the end of the season and that the Bulldogs needed an ‘experienced coach’
Gould hinted both Shane Flanagan (left) and Paul Green could be in the running for the job
Des Hasler, who had guided Canterbury to the finals in each of his first three seasons in charge, was sacked the following year and the Doggies haven’t played finals footy since.
Gould himself had warned Barrett to steer clear of the Bulldogs job back in September 2020 just months after the former Australia five-eight had signed a three-year deal with the club.
‘I think I’d be advising him to reconsider his decision, because I just think this [the Bulldogs] is going to deteriorate into a real mess in the coming weeks and I can’t see any way out,’ he told Nine at the time.
‘The Bulldogs is an absolute mess behind the scenes. It’s a toxic mess.’
The Bulldogs are bottom of the NRL ladder with just two wins in 10 rounds so far
Adding a host of big-name players like Josh Addo-Carr (pictured in the loss to Newcastle), Matt Burton and Tevita Pangai Junior has done nothing to improve the Bulldogs
On Monday, Gould recalled the warning and said it was unfortunate the job had ‘worn Barrett down’ but insisted he never envisaged a scenario in which he would sack him.
‘I never envisaged a situation when Trent Barrett wouldn’t be coaching the Bulldogs tonight and into the future,’ he said.
Canterbury face the Wests Tigers on Friday night, before hosting St George Illawarra the following week with a daunting away game against reigning premiers Penrith scheduled for Round 13.