According to Canterbury’s general manager of football, Phil Gould, the Bulldogs‘ recent 66-point loss was not surprising, as it was a culmination of their struggles throughout the season. However, the club is optimistic that the arrival of Titans half Toby Sexton will provide a much-needed boost. Gould mentioned that Sexton had been a part of Canterbury’s junior program previously and is now being given an opportunity to showcase his skills as a game manager. The Bulldogs have been searching for a successful halves combination all year but have yet to find a long-term solution for their halfback position.
While Sexton has been signed for the remainder of the 2023 season and 2024, Gould acknowledged that finding a quality number seven is a challenging and expensive endeavor. He admitted that the club would need to develop their own talent, which would take time. Canterbury still has a substantial amount of money available in their salary cap this year and in 2024 if they decide to pursue another key player. However, Gould emphasised the importance of making informed decisions rather than rushing into signings. He mentioned that there are players set to return from injury in the coming weeks, such as Villiame Kikau and Luke Thompson, which could potentially alleviate the need for immediate reinforcements.
Gould stressed that they would only consider signing another player if the right opportunity presented itself, especially before the deadline when clubs become more active in the market. The Bulldogs have the financial means to make further signings, but there is a limited pool of available players. Gould maintained that it is crucial to be patient and wait for the right players to become available. The club understands that this season will be a challenging one, and their focus is on the long-term goal of rebuilding and establishing the right culture within the organization.
With only five wins out of sixteen games so far, the Bulldogs face tough upcoming matches against South Sydney, Brisbane, and Penrith. Despite the difficult schedule, Gould expressed the club’s commitment to taking the necessary steps toward improvement. He acknowledged that the rebuilding process takes time and emphasised the importance of remaining steadfast and trusting in the process. The Bulldogs understand the challenges ahead but remain determined to rebuild and establish themselves as a strong and competitive team in the future.