I know we have not yet started season 2022, but as we all know a club’s rebuild takes longer than one season and I can see trouble ahead at the Dogs next year.
Part of that starts with the over-the-top, knee-jerk reaction to getting young Kyle Flanagan on board. I am not one to knock a young man trying to make his way into NRL first grade, but the reported $450,000 per year and the length of the contract is going to come back and bite us you know where.
A good sign this season is that the Dogs will field a reserve grade side so anyone called into the side will be match fit.
So, let’s have a look as to who we have on the books for 2023.
Josh Addo-Carr, Alomoti, Corey Allen, Jake Averillo, Bailey Biondi-Odo, Braidon Burns, Matt Burton, Cook, Kyle Flanagan, Josh Jackson, Katao, Viliame Kikau, Reed Mahoney, Brent Naden, Jayden Okunbor, Tevita Pangai Jr., Chris Patolo, Aaron Schoupp, Seumanfagai, Luke Thompson, Corey Waddell.
Twelve spots left for 2023 and this is where it is going to get difficult.
Let’s now look at those who are there for this year and no ongoing contract.
Matt Doorey, Matt Dufty, Reece Hoffman, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Jack Hetherington, Katoa, Max King, Jeremy Marshall-King, Joe Stimson, Jackson Topine, Paul Vaughan, Brandon Wakeham.
Two experienced players on the list with a one-year contract are Dufty and Vaughan and should they both have a good season they will be looking for another contract, and a pay rise.
Two young guns with limited experience are Doorey and Topine and even with limited time last year showed their value with the future in mind. As a club wanting to build a good pathways system, they cannot allow exciting youngster to go and simply attempt to buy a comp.
Max King showed what he has to offer in the opening trial and young Hoffman comes with big wraps.
The problem for next year will be dollars.
If we have to go to the market for a good half, who and how much?
if Dufty is not re-signed we will need a class fullback.
What about Addo-Carr?
Phil Gould is going to need his accountant’s hat on as well as all the others he wears, as I am sure the NRL will be keeping a very close eye on their salary cap.
Next year will be all about key positions that need to be filled and how much is left in the kitty to fill them.
As stated at the top that reported $450,000 a year for Flanagan may well come back to haunt. It could be that extra $100,000 or $200,000 that stops the Dogs from filling a major spot.
Good luck to all the teams this year – except against the Dogs.