Gould's signing could be just what the Bulldogs need, according to Laurie Daley

SIGNING: Laurie Daley says the Bulldogs signing Phil 'Gus' Gould gives the club added credibility. Photo: Tony Feder/Getty Images
SIGNING: Laurie Daley says the Bulldogs signing Phil 'Gus' Gould gives the club added credibility. Photo: Tony Feder/Getty Images

The Bulldogs have made some big signings for next season but I doubt any will be more significant than having Phil 'Gus' Gould come in as the club's new football boss.

It has the potential to be a masterstroke that could have the Dogs back as a force in the NRL within the space of a couple of seasons.

Coach Trent Barrett had already started to assemble a much stronger squad for next season with the acquisition of players like Matt Burton, Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Dufty and Brent Naden. You can now add Tevita Pangai Jnr to the list and there is also talk of Paul Vaughan possibly going there as well.

So the groundwork for a very competitive squad had already been started before Gus took the job. But I've got no doubts the Dogs will be an even bigger attraction for players now that he is on board and running the footy department.

Gus gives the club added credibility. He's got a great footy mind, knows the value of players and what they will bring to the Bulldogs and he has outstanding connections right across the game.

What's more, he has Bulldogs DNA. He played for the club and won a premiership there in his first year as a coach. He will see this as a personal challenge to lift his old club out of the doldrums and back into becoming the powerhouse they once were.

You can bet your life his hand-prints will also be all over the club's junior system and before long, he'll have programs in place that will ensure the club is producing players and not simply having to buy in talent.

Bulldogs fans haven't had much to cheer about in recent seasons. The club has been in a heap of salary cap trouble and has paid the price for paying overs for too many average players.

As a result, they have been tough to watch far too often. But I reckon there'll be a lot of their fans who have had their faith restored following the news Gus is coming on board to oversee a Bulldogs resurgence.

No fan of club-hopping

Still, on Tevita Pangai Jnr, so the Brisbane backrower plays the bulk of the season with the Broncos, signs with the Bulldogs for the next three seasons but is set to have a back-end-of-year finals fling with the Penrith Panthers in between.

Who knows, he could potentially leave the current wooden spoon holders, win a premiership and then join the new wooden spoon holders, all in the space of a few months.

Yes, it's all within the rules of the game at the moment and good luck to Tevita. But I've got to say I'm no fan of it happening.

And I'd be surprised if there are many genuine supporters of the game out there who are fans of players jumping from club to club to club like he will be.

Maybe I've missed something in all of this but I don't understand why the registration rule for players signing with new clubs was moved from June 30 to August 1.

Now we have a situation where clubs with money to spare in the cap can do deals with players from clubs out of the finals race just five or six weeks out from the play-offs.

I just can't get my head around how that is good for the game as a whole.

It may strengthen the Panthers at the pointy end of the season but I wonder how the player who is dumped from their side when the time comes to accommodate Pangai Jnr will feel after he has done the hard yards for the team and his teammates for the bulk of the season yet misses out on the spoils in this way.

I know sports throughout the world have their transfer windows and club-hopping is a regular occurrence but I just don't think it is something we should be encouraging here by leaving the window open for so long.

The games

ROOSTERS v KNIGHTS

Impossible to go past the Roosters given what the Knights dished up against Melbourne last weekend. The Roosters work hard for each other no matter who they have on the field and with no Mitchell Pearce still, it's hard to trust what the Knights will bring. My tip: Roosters

COWBOYS v STORM

You can't help but marvel at the Storm and the consistent ruthless attitude of their players. Craig Bellamy has rested a couple here and got a few back as well and no surprise, they will win. My tip: Storm

RABBITOHS v WARRIORS

If Souths can get their defence in order, I still believe they are the team most likely to trouble the Storm and Panthers in the finals but it's a big 'if'. In saying that, they should handle the Warriors comfortably in this one. My tip: Souths

EAGLES v TIGERS

With Tommy Turbo, his brother Jake and Daly Cherry-Evans all back, I'm expecting Manly to over-run a Tigers side who won last week but didn't do nearly enough for me to tip them here. My tip: Eagles

PANTHERS v BRONCOS

Penrith welcome back Jarome Luai for this one and they will win again against the inconsistent Broncos simply through their enthusiasm and speed. My tip: Panthers

DRAGONS v TITANS

The Dragons are still dealing with 'Barbie-gate' and the Titans, who were very poor in losing to the Eels last weekend at home, will surely be much better in this one. My tip: Titans

BULLDOGS v SHARKS

The Dogs showed some fight last weekend but the Sharks are playing for a finals spot and should be desperate here. Shaun Johnson really needs to stand up and get Cronulla home.

My tip: Sharks