Hungry ex-NRL coach confirms interest in Dogs job

Former Sharks premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan has made it clear he’s gunning for the vacant Bulldogs position, declaring he’d “love to do the job” and is “ready to rumble”.

Flanagan is among the many names to have been tossed up in the wake of Trent Barrett’s departure last Sunday night, as the Bulldogs search for a new man to steer them out of its crisis.

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Flanagan pushed his case hard when pressed on 2GB’s The Continuous Call Team on Saturday.

“Firstly, I haven’t had any chats with the Bulldogs. I’ve got no idea, to be really honest, what their plans are. I’d love to do the job. I want to get back into coaching at NRL level . I think I could do a good job there,” Flanagan said.

“But, as I said, I don’t know what their plans are and the process they’re going to go through. I suppose that’ll be decided over the next couple of weeks. But at this point there’s been no contact. “

Flanagan said he planned to speak to Bulldogs general manager of football Phil Gould in the coming weeks.

“Eventually, I suppose, Gus is the one I need to talk to, which I’ll do in time. He’s got my number so if he wants to fast-track something that’s pretty easy. But over the next week or two I’ ll contact Gus and just go through what’s going to be the process,” Flanagan said.

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“I’m there, I’m ready to rumble and I’d love to be able to do the job.

“I was actually a Canterbury junior, I’ve got a lot of history with the club and when I was coming through as a young kid and then obviously coming into first grade, the Bulldogs were the gun team. Terry Lamb, David Gillespie, Steve Folkes and those types of players… they were a fantastic team and a fantastic club and I’d love to be able to lead them back to where they were.”

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One potential hurdle standing in Flanagan’s way is his son, Kyle, who’s at this stage Canterbury’s first-choice halfback.

Penrith mentor Ivan Cleary doesn’t have any issues with coaching his son, Nathan, because his son is a superstar of the game and his place is never questioned.

Goal Kyle is a fringe first-grade footballer.

“I coached Kyle for two or three years at the Sharks…I brought Matty Moylan in and Chad Townsend was the current half at that stage, after James Maloney left,” Flanagan said.

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“At that stage Kyle probably wasn’t ready to play first grade and I had no problem bringing someone in.

“He made his debut back in 2018 and played some games here and there between ’18 and ’19, but if he’s not the best halfback in the club (at the Bulldogs)…he doesn’t play. And Kyle knows that himself.

“Just on Kyle – you haven’t seen anything that he can do at the moment. I think he may have actually gone a little bit backwards over the last 18 months for different reasons. But he’s a better player than what he’s showing at the moment. I know he can compete really hard just in the right environment.”

Flanagan coached Cronulla in 185 NRL games across two stints.

He was suspended due to the Sharks’ performance-enhancing drugs scandal and returned ahead of the 2015 season.

But he resigned in January 2019 after the NRL de-registered his contract for dealing with the club during his suspension.

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