Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler looks on during a training session in Sydney.
Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler looks on during a training session in Sydney. PAUL MILLER

Dogs set to review Hasler's position

RUGBY LEAGUE: The performance of Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler will be in the spotlight in what could be a volatile emergency meeting called for Friday.

Sydney media reported that the roles of Hasler and chief executive Raelene Castle are under review following growing dissatisfaction at the club.

Canterbury legend and current director Steve Mortimer fears the Bulldogs are "losing our DNA” under Hasler.

The coach is contracted until the end of next year, but negotiations for a two-year extension - which have been ongoing for more than six months - appear to have stalled.

Mortimer, a former Australian Test halfback and Bulldogs chief executive, told the Sydney Morning Herald he respected Hasler as a coach but questioned whether the former Manly mentor was the right fit for the Dogs.

"I've had a couple of footballers say to me as a director 'Turvey, we're losing our DNA',” Mortimer said. "I think we might be.

"I've got an idea of how the former coaches have strengthened the DNA of the Bulldogs in winning, getting up in the finals and even winning a premiership.

"The players who have come up to me saying we are losing our DNA ... I've had a look at it and I understand what they're talking about. That's why the directors (want to) review this and look for the betterment of the Bulldogs to make them the greatest club and team.

"It's about winning premierships. It's about being up there. It's about developing your own - even though I came from Wagga - good players. That certainly hasn't happened over the last five years.”

Under Hasler, Canterbury has made the finals for the past five years, reaching two grand finals but failing to win the title. But club insiders are said to be upset that the Bulldogs are neglecting their junior talent.

"He has been there for five years and taken us to two grand finals, which is terrific. But there's a number of things in that,” Mortimer said.

"We're worried about our junior rugby league. We really want to develop our junior rugby league so we can produce our own great players. There's certainly nothing like that happening in the last five years.

"When I came on board I didn't understand that he would bring eight or 10 people (support staff) with him or whatever it may be.

"To me, I'm old school and I don't think that's appropriate.”


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