Bulldogs select head coach for remainder of 2022 NRL season

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have unveiled Michael Potter as their interim head coach, two days after revealing Trent Barrett had quit.

Potter’s first game in charge will be on Friday against the Wests Tigers, the club he coached between 2013 and 2014. He will see the season out as head coach of the beleaguered Bulldogs.

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Potter has been part of the Bulldogs’ coaching system since January 2020 when he signed on as head coach of Mounties, a feeder club that competes in the NSW Cup.

His coaching resume also features stints in the Super League with Catalans Dragons (2006-08), St Helens (2009-10) and Bradford Bulls (2011-12).

Potter beat out Bulldogs assistant and former Canberra Raiders head coach David Furner to claim the interim coaching role at the Bulldogs.

As a player, Potter played 80 games for the Bulldogs between 1983 and 1988 and was fullback in their 1984 and 1985 premiership-winning teams.

He is one of only nine players to win the Dally M Medal on multiple occasions.

St George v Wests Tigers NRL
Camera IconMichael Potter during his time coaching the Tigers. Brett Costello Credit: News Corp Australia

Bulldogs general manager of football Phil Gould said he was pleased to welcome Potter to the first-grade set-up.

“It is great to have a genuine legend returning to the club,” Gould said.

“Michael has extensive experience in the game and will bring a new voice and new ideas to our players. We really appreciate Michael stepping up to help our club at this time.”

Potter said he was “honoured” to be back at Belmore.

“I wish it were under different circumstances as I’ve known Trent for a long time and I really feel for him. I will do what I can to help the club at this time,” he said.

Given the quick turnaround to Friday’s game, Bulldogs captain Josh Jackson said Potter planned to “sit back and let the assistants do their thing” this week and would take a more active role from Monday.

“I think he’s a fantastic addition,” Jackson said.

“He’s a premiership winner, he’s won two premierships here and he’s got a lot of experience as a head coach.

“He brings an outside perspective as well, which I think is important.”

Barrett recorded only five wins from 34 matches in charge of the Bulldogs and the side’s round 10 loss to the lowly Newcastle Knights proved the final straw. Barrett informed the Bulldogs of his decision to quit on Sunday night.

Jackson said Barrett never lost the support of the playing group.

“It’s been a tough couple of days. I’m devastated for Trent and the way it’s all worked out,” he said.

“I guess ultimately, we feel responsible. At the end of the day, us players are responsible for the performances on the field and the results. Obviously we haven’t been getting the results and that’s why we’ve ended up in this situation.

“I fully support him, he’s a fantastic coach ... He certainly had the full support of (the playing group).”

Shane Flanagan, Paul Green and Cameron Ciraldo are among the names to have been mentioned as replacement options from 2023 and beyond.

Originally published as Bulldogs select head coach for remainder of 2022 NRL season

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