THE Canterbury board is planning to implement a major shake-up of the club’s entire football department during a crucial meeting with coach Des Hasler and CEO Raelene Castle on Thursday.
While Hasler will remain at the helm of the Bulldogs beyond next season, with a new two-year extension until 2019 close to being signed off on, the shrewd Canterbury board wants a complete review of the club’s much-publicised strategic plan, recruitment, development programs and football department.
The changes, which will be the most significant since Hasler’s arrival in 2012, have emerged in the wake of the club’s meek 28-12 finals exit last weekend against Penrith.
The Sunday Telegraph has learned the board’s demands for change are already under way, with recruitment guru Noel “Crusher” Cleal unable to agree to terms on a new deal for next season.
The departure of Cleal will not only come as a major shock to those within the game, but it also ends his close 30-year working relationship with Hasler.
“Unfortunately we could not reach mutually acceptable terms and we have agreed to part ways. I wish the Bulldogs all the best,’’ Cleal told The Sunday Telegraph.
Opening up about the Bulldogs’ season both on and off the field, Castle said the Dogs board, with Hasler remaining in charge, was hell-bent on returning Canterbury into a premiership force in 2017 and beyond.
“After the results over the last couple of years, the board is looking for some changes,’’ Castle said.
“We’re not happy with finishing seventh. That’s not where the Bulldogs see ourselves. The board recognises it’s important we look to make some changes and make changes that are going to see us in a better position for next year."
Asked if Hasler was certain to lead Canterbury in 2017, Castle said: “Yes. The board are in the final stages of negotiations over extending Des for two more years until 2019.’’
The strategic plan of the Bulldogs was bold, ambitious and daring.
But the plan also needs to be reassessed two years down the track.
“Is two grand finals by 2019 realistic? Perhaps not. Perhaps it should be one,’’ Castle said.
“But that’s the nature of strategic plans, they’re aspirational.
“The reality is, if you changed the name on top of that strategic plan from the Bulldogs to any of the 15 other clubs, it wouldn’t be that different.
“One-third of it is about football and the rest is about commercial and all of our commercial measures are up.
“We delivered more members than we’ve ever delivered before.”
David Riccio, Exclusive, The Sunday Telegraph
September 18, 2016 12:00am
I read this article and started to think to my self……WOW!!!
Why can’t us Tigers have the same attitude as the Bulldogs? Love them or loathe them, they don’t accept mediocrity and making the top 8 regularly without winning a premiership frequently is NOT acceptable. Despite parts of our club being geographically close it does not have the same drive, WHY are we so weak? WHY does our team accept failure?
We all know the reputation of recent Bulldogs fans, but to their credit they don’t accept failure either and expect to win (or at least be in the grand final) premiership on the regular. WHY are we the Wests Tigers fans not that demanding. It starts from the top I believe.
Please feel free to let me know you’re thoughts on this…