Newly appointed Canterbury Bulldogs coach Dean Pay
Newly appointed Canterbury Bulldogs coach Dean Pay MICK TSIKAS

Pay's looking to solve Bulldogs' attacking woes

CANTERBURY will be hoping their fortunes improve in 2018 after the appointment of former premiership-winning forward Dean Pay as club coach.

The new Bulldogs coach appeared on NRL 360 on Monday night to discuss a host of issues facing him and the club.


The team's attack has been criticised for a number of seasons, and in 2017 it well and truly hit rock bottom when the Bulldogs finished with the lowest points scored in the competition.

They managed just 360 points in 24 rounds, 15 per game.

Pay hinted he may overhaul the Bulldogs' spine as they look to find their right combinations with incumbents Moses Mbye and Will Hopoate, and new signings Kieran Foran and Fa'amanu Brown.

"I've got my own ideas about how we're going to attack," Pay said.

"I thought the boys defended pretty well this year. They were right up the top there with their defence.

"We've got some new players coming. We've got Kieran coming, we've got Aaron Woods coming, we've got Nu Brown coming.

"We might have a couple of positional changes.

"We'll get into pre-season and make sure we work out how best we can use our players and make sure we promote that they play what's in front of them.

"We want them taking their opportunities when they arise."


Pay revealed big-name signing Kieran Foran had already been very active about rehabilitating the back and quad injuries that hampered him at the end of the 2017 season.

Foran decided not to play for New Zealand in the World Cup to focus on getting his body right so he could hit the ground running for his new side in the new year.

"He's been in and around the club a fair bit," Pay said.

"He's obviously into his rehab and physio, so I've spoken to him quite a number of times and he's going really well.

"He's looking forward just to getting back into the football, getting his body right and making sure. He hasn't had a decent season in quite a while. He's hellbent on playing really well next year."


When James Graham was forced out of the club due to salary cap pressure, they not only lost an international prop, but also their captain.

Pay said the likes of Josh Jackson, David Klemmer and even Aaron Woods would be considered to take over the role.

"There's a few contenders," he said.

"Jacko obviously, he's right up there, and I've got a lot of time for Aaron Woods as well.

"Klem's been there for a number of years, so there's quite a few options there, but we'll address that as we go along."


While Bulldogs assistant Jim Dymock decided to move to Cronulla after missing out on the top job, Pay said not too much had changed in relation the club's coaching department following Des Hasler's sacking.

"We've pretty much got all the same staff, but I've brought on some new people," Pay said.

"Steve Antonelli has come on. He's coached at Mounties and worked down there at the Raiders with us.

"Dave Penna was there this year, so he's there again.

"We've brought on Steve Georgallis. He's on full-time. He coached reserve grade last year.

"We've got a really good solid coaching roster there next year."

Pay admitted he was disappointed to see Dymock move on.

"I had a conversation with him and we just worked out that he just needed to do the best thing for him," he said.

"And the best thing for him was to move on and work with another club so it broadens his coaching career."

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