The resignation of Canterbury Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett came as little surprise given his horrendous winning record. Whether he was pushed or it came of his own accord is immaterial at this point.
But it provides a look at the approach the club will be taking as it rebuilds its crumbling presence.
In Trent Barrett they went with a largely inexperienced head coach with a reputation as a good assistant. His tenure at Manly was chaotic and his 40 percent win rate was well below expectations given his predecessor Geoff Toovey managed to win 58 percent of his games and Des Hasler has since managed a 52 percent win rate during his second stint at the club.
The presence of Phil Gould could be seen as both a help and a hindrance. He’s no doubt assisted in improving the Bulldogs’ junior pathways, while he’s also able to use his connections to recruit players.
But having someone such as Gould who effectively generates his own media coverage means the spotlight is forever on the club. The club is also dealing with continued boardroom instability.
As Jack Gibson would say, winning starts in the front office, and the Canterbury front office is far from a well-oiled machine at the moment.
History beckons for the Parramatta Eels as they head into a preliminary final against the heavily favoured North Queensland Cowboys.
Recalling a legendary player or former coach is often tempting for a club trying to recapture former glory. But rarely does it work, and often it tarnishes the coach’s legacy.
Harry Grant has filled the Melbourne Storm boots of Cameron Smith and seems to be taking the hooking position to the next level.