Gould 'indebted' to stars with rebuild 'only half done'

Phil Gould says his job in Belmore is only "half done" after the Bulldogs push their way inside the top eight for the first time in eight years.

Gould 'indebted' to stars with rebuild 'only half done'

Bulldogs football manager Phil Gould says his job at Belmore is only "half done", declaring that Canterbury's recent success if only the "starting point" for the club's future.

The Bulldogs have won five from nine games this season, with the results pushing the club to sit inside the top eight for the first time since 2017.

Under the guidance of Gould, the Bulldogs have successfully turned over their entire club roster - including coaching staff, high-performance staff, players, and club officials.

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Gould revealed that the three-season turnover was an essential need for the club in order to begin regenerating and energising the club to be a leading force in the competition.

"It was a bit of a task because a couple of years ago, in 2020 and 2021, the Bulldogs were last. They only won about three games in each year. It was probably the worst period in the club's history," he said on Wide World of Sports' Six Tackles with Gus.

"We actually turned the roster over in two years. All coaches, high performance and the playing roster was turned over in two years.Phil Gould smiles during a tv broadcast.

"I don't think that anyone would dare to attempt that or be able to do that in today's environment but that was what I wanted to do. We did it to get us now to a starting point to build our club into the future.

"I'm extremely happy with a lot of what's happening at the club. We've come a long way.

"We aren't out of the woods by any terms yet. We are still nowhere near where we need to be but I'm extremely happy with the culture and environment within our club.

"The job is only half done."

Gould's mission to regenerate the club began with the recruitment of marquee premiership winners Stephen Crichton, Matt Burton and Vilame Kikau, who all opted to go to Belmore from the Panthers.

Josh Addo-Carr also signed with the club in 2022 after five seasons and two premiership titles with the Melbourne Storm, with Gould praising the stars for "risking their careers to join the once struggling Bulldogs side".

"Some players took a gamble in their careers to come to the Bulldogs at this time and that's something I will never forget... I am indebted to those players for the rest of their careers and the rest of their lives.

Watch the 2024 NRL premiership live and free on Nine and 9Now.Stephen Crichton of the Bulldogs celebrates after scoring a try.

"I'm not surprised that they are holding their own (on) the field. Obviously, we are all subject to injuries and depth of talent but we are in a far better position now than what we were a couple of years ago.

"What they're doing is they're competing every week. If you saw the way they trained during the off-season and the way they are preparing each and every week. The whole club is a completely different environment to what it was when I first arrived.

"The players that we have brought in are doing an outstanding job and I'm not surprised by any of them. They were all bought with a specific purpose in mind, with a specific character and personality about them.

"We were vulnerable last year and then we had a terrible injury run which just made it worse and worse. It's a terrible place to be in a losing football club and that was my responsibility during that period to keep everything together because it was my decision to go through that," he continued.

"It's hard to walk into a club and a board of directors, where you're club has run last over the past two years in a row, and say we've got to go backward to go forward... but there's not too much running backward when you're coming last in the comp.

"It's in a really good place at the moment and I'm really happy with it. Everything improves when there is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel."Blake Wilson of the Bulldogs scores a try.

The Bulldogs pathway programs had major success early this year after all four junior grades made it through to the finals.

The Tarsha Gale and Lisa Fioala women's competitions both triumphed over their opponents in the grand finals, winning both by more than 30 points.

"I'm really happy with our pathways program and how that's going," Gould said.

"There are a lot of good systems around the league but I don't think there are any that better.

"Now it's our job over the next few years to develop talent and bring talent through, and go from there to hopefully set the club up for a sustained future long term."

"The group of players that we have at the moment are a great example for the younger players coming through. That was important.

"If you're going to be a development club and bring people through pathways programs you need living and breathing examples of professionalism in your top grade and we have that now."