West End wants to bring big dogs home
WEST END Bulldogs coach Jae Woodward would welcome club juniors Ipswich Jets Josh Cleeland and Blake Lenehan to the kennel with open arms.
Since returning to the Jets after trying to crack the NRL in 2016, Cleeland has been among the club's best with his performances earning him selection to the Queensland Residents last season.
Lock Lenehan linked with Ipswich after spending time with the Gold Coast Titans Colts and has been a revelation since debuting last year.
Should the Intrust Super Cup squad be divided among local teams to take part in a shortened RLI A-Grade competition Woodward wants the services of his club's most promising products.
He said both had been knocking on the door of the NRL and having talents of that calibre run around in the RLI would only lift the standard and benefit young players.
"They are not just good footballers but they are both great people," he said.
"They are very respectful and are great role models.
"It would definitely be good for the kids.
"The Jets have had a philosophy of only giving good people opportunities for a long time.
"It is very clear if you want to be a Jet, you have to be a good citizen and have good morals, so to have any of those Jets' guys come back would be ideal.
"It would bolster the reputation of the competition, and be good for any local side and for the kids to see these guys running around in the same jerseys as them."
Cleeland holds strong family ties with West End courtesy of his grandparents Gail and Jim McKenzie, who made significant contributions to the club over many years.
Woodward said the pair were held in high regard and it would be awesome for Cleeland to represent the club which meant so much to them.
He said the fleet-footed playmaker who was one of the state's leading players would thrive under the Bulldogs' culture and his experience would greatly benefit the developing side.
"He was unlucky not to get a run at the (Canterbury) Bulldogs,' Woodward said.
"He is very competitive.
"He plays eyes-up footy and is one of those players who can see opportunities and take them.
"Of course (we would love him to play for us). It would give the kids a kick knowing the guys they look up to are playing at their club."