Reed Mahoney, co-captain of the Bulldogs, has thrown his support behind Coach Cameron Ciraldo‘s training regime during a tough time for the underperforming NRL club, in the wake of controversial player discipline measures.
Ciraldo landed in hot water earlier in the week after it came to light that one of his players had taken a mental health break owing to a punishing regime for tardiness at training. The harsh disciplinary measure involved wrestling as many as 30 fellow team members.
With the player, who remains under contract for next season, not yet returning to training, negotiations between the player and the club fell through, raising the prospect of potential legal recourse.
Mahoney, like Ciraldo a newcomer to the Bulldogs, has been in touch with the absent player. He endorsed the club’s effort in supporting the player’s wellbeing, indicating it was doing an “excellent job”.
As a professional athlete, the hooker maintained that tough training is part and parcel of the job. He said the Bulldogs, who haven’t featured in the finals since 2016, needed to raise their game.
“Everyone’s committed,” Mahoney stated emphatically on Friday.
He highlighted that professional training was no walk in the park. It’s challenging to reach the NRL level, he said, and maintaining that status is even more difficult.
Explaining the gruelling nature of the sport, he said that despite sometimes being sore, you sometimes have to persevere, as it comes with the territory of being a professional athlete.
The Bulldog’s co-captain described Ciraldo as a friend first and coach second. He applauded the coach’s open-door policy, with many players seeking his counsel on personal and professional matters.
In addition, he drew attention to the high bar that Ciraldo has set for them, but noted that the team was equally committed to maintaining these standards.
Expressing positivity for the Bulldog’s future, he admitted that the journey to success is a tough one and instantaneous results should not be expected.
Mahoney underlined that they planned to continually improve all aspects of their game, both on and off the field, and that they were sticking to the high standards set at training and in their lifestyle choices.
Discussing the team’s current problems, Cleary said, “If you want to instigate changes and alter a culture in any working environment, not everything always goes smoothly. From the outside, it looks like they are undergoing growing pains.”