In the lead up to the 2014 VB NSW Cup season, we will shine the spotlight on all 13 competing teams to see how they are shaping up for the year ahead.
Today we take a look at the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
Head Coach: Barry Ward
Home Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Year Re-entered Competition: 2010
2013 Result: 12th - (6 wins and 18 losses)
2014 Key Signings: Damien Cook (St George Illawarra Dragons), Pat O’Hanlon (Parramatta Eels), Tyrone Phillips (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Chase Stanley (St George Illawarra Dragons) & Kayne Brennan (St George Illawarra Dragons).
Canterbury-Bankstown will be counting down the days to the kick-off of the VB NSW Cup season as they attempt to erase the memories of a disappointing 2013 campaign.
After sustained success over a number of seasons, Barry Ward’s men only managed six wins for the season last year and as a club with a proud history of success; don’t expect the Bulldogs to stay down for long.
With a number of key signings and players set to benefit from their experience in recent seasons, the Bulldogs are in a strong position to begin the year with a bite.
Speaking with NSWRL Media, Bulldogs Coach, Barry Ward, admitted the pre-season had been tough as expected.
“It’s been very hard,” said Ward.
“We’ve had a quality off-season and it’s something we needed to have. All the players have worked really hard and we’re happy with where we’re at leading into the start of the season.”
After a disrupted 2013, Ward believed there were several players in his squad whose recent experience would provide a boost for his side this season.
“Guys like Corey Thompson and Moses Mbye have been really impressive. I think they’ll really benefit from what they learnt last year and if they’re not playing first grade, they’ll be a really good addition to our side.”
Combining the talent of Lachlan Burr and John Sila with the flair and grit of signings such as Damien Cook and Pat O’Hanlon, has given the Bulldogs an adaptable roster that could prove to be the difference between success and failure in 2014.
“We had a bad year all round last year, so we’re looking to put it behind us and find some consistency so we can dominate and control games.
“Last year we lost nine games by six points or less and were letting games slip away. We’ll be looking to finish games stronger this year and I’m excited for the start of the season.”
After going down in a recent trial against the North Sydney Bears, the Dogs will face the Illawarra Cutters and PNG Hunters in successive weeks at Belmore Sports Ground before their Round One clash with reigning Premiers the Cronulla Sharks on Saturday, 8th March.