Pele moved to Canterbury from Cronulla on a two-year deal, but there are strong expectations that his stay will last only half of that tenure. The 22-year-old could be set to leave the NRL and shift to the Super League.
He is amongst four Canterbury representatives, including Andrew Davey, Fa’amanu Brown and, to a lesser degree, Josh Reynolds, who signed with the Bulldogs only to depart prematurely from their contracts.
The accumulated participation of these four players fell vastly short of expectations, amounting to only 20 games among them, with none managing to establish a noticeable influence in the Bulldogs‘ colors.
In terms of individual performance, Davey made it through a mere two fixtures and played for 81 minutes before switching to Parramatta. Brown, Pele, and Reynolds showcased in five, six and seven matches respectively.
Reynolds, who was given a second chance by the Bulldogs through a pre-season contract, clocked 244 minutes in premier league plays, which is the record among the players who have left. However, he has now hung up his boots.
Towards the end of the season, the Bulldogs will bid farewell to Jake Averillo (transitioning to Dolphins). Contracts of Luke Thompson and Kyle Flanagan are nearing their end, with Flanagan confirmed to be leaving next year. The careers of players like Braidon Burns, Corey Waddell, Jayden Okunbor and Paul Alamoti hang in the balance.
The Bulldogs were busy bees in the off-season market under Phil Gould‘s supervision. Despite heavy investments, their recruitment results have been patchy. The club spent big on Viliame Kikau (Panthers), Reed Mahoney (Eels) and Ryan Sutton (Raiders), complemented by additions of Hayze Perham (Eels), Karl Oloapu (Broncos) and Ethan Quai-Ward (Broncos).
The Bulldogs proceeded to open their coffers by welcoming Toby Sexton (Titans) and Liam Knight (South Sydney) in the recent weeks. The club had to drop Reynolds and Brown, who subsequently joined Newcastle, to accommodate these new signings.
Projected to finish third last this year, Canterbury remains an active participant in the free agency market for next season. Alongside Sexton and Knight, the club has roped in Bronson Xerri, Blake Taaffe, Jaeman Salmon and Stephen Crichton. A $1 million two-season deal with Siosiua Taukeiaho from Catalans is also on the horizon.
Eels EXTEND CONTRACT WITH CARTWRIGHT DESPITE INTEREST FROM RIVALS
The skilful backrower locked in a two-year contract extension despite inducing interest from competitors, notable among them being St George-Illawarra.