Canterbury Bulldogs turn to club legend Mick Potter to stop the rot as two-time premiership winner is named interim head coach following Trent Barrett’s departure
- Mick Potter has returned to Canterbury to coach until the end of the season
- The Bulldogs parted ways with Trent Barrett amid a terrible run of performances
- Potter was last in charge of an NRL team with Wests Tigers back in 2014
Two-time Bulldogs premiership player Mick Potter will take over at the 2-8 club for the rest of the season after Barrett’s resignation on Monday.
Barrett leaves Belmore with just five wins from 34 matches in charge, despite an expensive recruitment drive that has included the additions of offensive weapons Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Tevita Pangai, Matt Dufty and Paul Vaughan.
Their attack has flopped though, averaging fewer than 10 points per game in the first 10 rounds, an unwanted feat not matched since the South Queensland Crushers battled in 1996.
Captain Josh Jackson said he was ‘devastated’ for Barrett, labelling him the most well-rounded coach of his 10-year career.
But he rejected criticism of the club’s culture, pointing to four losses of 10 points or less as proof they ‘don’t have to change too much’ despite occupying last place on the ladder.
‘We’ve got plenty more footy to be played and we’re sitting three wins outside the top eight,’ Jackson said.
‘We haven’t given up on the season at all, we’re still pushing for finals footy.’
Two-time premiership winner Potter was last in charge of an NRL club at Wests Tigers
The coach’s departure has already triggered player movement, with Brent Naden joining Wests Tigers and others reportedly considering an exit.
‘Not really,’ Jackson said when asked if he feared more sudden walk-outs.
‘We’ve got two choices. We can use that as an excuse for poor performances or rally together and go out there and win.’
Jackson said he was preparing to front the Bulldogs’ board and vouch for the coach, insisting the players felt responsible for the predicament.
‘That’s totally true, he’s a fantastic coach and he certainly has the full support of us and for me, he’s been fantastic for me,’ he said.
‘He’s a brilliant coach, the most well-rounded coach I’ve had.
‘We owe it to Trent and our supporters …. (to) go out there and win.’
Bulldogs chief Phil Gould is looking for a coach to build the club around long term
Canterbury captain Josh Jackson did not hide his disappointment in Barrett’s departure
Jackson said Potter, who coached the Tigers in 2013 and 2014 without reaching finals, had barely got his feet under the desk.
‘He’s come in late this week, he’ll sit back and let the assistants do their thing, chime in where he can and take over the reins next week,’ he said.
‘He’s a fantastic addition … and brings an outside perspective too which is important.’
Bulldogs football boss Phil Gould said Potter’s experience would be crucial before they looked for a permanent replacement.
‘It is great to have a genuine legend returning to the club,’ Gould said.
‘Michael has extensive experience in the game and will bring a new voice and new ideas to our players.’
Potter said he was honoured and excited about the opportunity to help.
‘I wish it were under different circumstances as I’ve known Trent for a long time and I really feel for him,’ he said.