This reaction comes following the emergence of murmurs from various players expressing dissatisfaction with the heavy training commitments, which run through the standard working day, 8am to 5.30pm.
Late season performance was less than impressive, with the Bulldogs securing only one win in their last six tries, and a mere two victories post round 12.
Regrettably, the Bulldogs haven’t seen finals footy since 2016; a state of affairs that desperately needs a shakeup.
On his podcast, Levels with Willie Mason and Justin Horo, Mason – who secured a premiership and now works as coaching staff for the Dogs – addressed player complaints about the gruelling training program.
“It’s as soft as a feather,” Mason countered.
“It irks me, seeing the effort our coaches put in, from Ciro (coach Ciraldo) to Travis Touma, to Zapp, to Chady Randall, to Bobcat (Andrew Ryan), to Ogre (Mark O’Meley). They set a high bar, regardless of our ladder position. But there will be no tolerance for excuses. Those weak links in our culture will be pushed out – exactly what Ciro intends to do.”
He pointed out that the club has been battling a losing culture for half a decade.
“If you can’t stand the heat of the way Bulldogs play and train, this isn’t your club. Those who fit our culture will stick around, along with fresh talent we’re bringing in,” Mason declared.
On Wednesday, controversy struck again as reports emerged of a player storming out on the Bulldogs after being compelled to spar with a dozen teammates as penalty for tardiness to training, leaving him upset and swearing off the club.
Club football manager Phil Gould addressed the controversy on his podcast, Six Tackles With Gus, but was vague about details.
“There are some pretty sensitive issues at stake here,” he warned, indicating there were “exaggerations and distortions.”
Ciraldo also commented on the rumours, asserting he was striving to “change behaviours and drive standards.” He echoed Mason’s sentiments: “success is built on hard work, and the entire team has to buy into that ethic.”