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News Dean Pay's young Bulldogs are ready to build on 2019

djdeep4172

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Canterbury coach Dean Pay says the Bulldogs are in the position to carry forward the momentum from the 2019 season after winning five of their last six NRL games.

Canterbury coach Dean Pay insists it won’t be a case of deja vu with his side ready to carry their late-season momentum into 2020.

The Bulldogs won five of their last six games to end the year, including Saturday night’s final-round 30-14 win over Brisbane.

They have arguably been one of the form teams of the competition, having notched up wins over finalists South Sydney, Parramatta and the Broncos.

But the fact is Canterbury found themselves in a similar position at the end of last year, unearthing future talent as they won four of their last six in 2018.
It came to little fruition though, as they won just three of their opening 14 games this year to be out of the finals hunt.

But Pay said the club was now in a far better position to capitalise, with minimal roster changes expected and their first-choice starting 17 still intact for next year.

“It’s a totally different group,” Pay said.

“The year before we lost a wealth of experience through the Morrises (Brett and Josh), (Moses) Mbye, (David) Klemmer – you can name a number of them.

“This year we started with the youngest group in the comp and we’ve built our season on what we’ve done.
“We’re going to have a similar group next year and some of our young boys have got 25 games in them now.

“There is a lot of hard work to do. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go in round one and we can put some performances in we can be pleased with.”

Pay was most impressed with his team’s attack against the Broncos.

They went past 18 points in a match for just the fifth time this year, and will still finish the season in 12th after at one stage looking set for a battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

However, they know things must be turned around next year, after missing the finals for three straight years for the first time since the 1960s.

“As a group it’s about us being a better footy team each and every week,” Pay said.

“We need to make sure we get ourselves to a level of performance we are happy with. We’re aiming to be a top-four team and that’s what our aim is.

“Are we there yet? No. And we’re a fair way off it. But we want to keep working towards it.
“We’re all on this journey together and hopefully we can get what we’re looking for.”
 

Moedogg

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I think the only interruption to our team will be injuries and suspension. Hopefully Foran can stay on the park... The team that we have now plus Stimson, etc have proven that they can beat top 8 teams so should be good enough to compete week in week out next year... Origin will not affect us so I expect nothing less than a top 8 finish.
 

Scoooby

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Shaping up for a good year in 2020, I think top 8 is definitely achievable !! And if we carry the back end of 2019 form into the first 4/5 rounds and get a quick start, we will be looking very good. Be nice to see us he up there competing with the best again...!!
 

Howard Moon

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Though it's been long enough already
for the club's standards, definitely! but I'm certainly glad I support this team, and not for example, David Klemmer's Knights who just sit in the bottom 8 for years and years, with no end in sight :tearsofjoy:
 

GDR

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considering what weve seen over the last 10 or so weeks, I think anything short of top 8 would not be acceptable..
 

no1bulldog

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I’m not going to get carried away about next year we did similar last year an played like a busted arse this year until we were no hope of finals and we had nothing to lose.

We are still in real need of a decent hooker, half, centre, winger and dynamic prop
 

CBDoggies

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We came equal 11th this year and 2 wins from a top 8 finish this year with our crap half a season. So anything less then a top 8 finish next year to me is a big failure.

I’m pretty sure we will make the 8 and if we get our attack on par with our defence I don’t see why a top 4 is out of the question
 

bradyk

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I'll be happy to finish outside the bottom 4 again. If we can finish around 10th it'll really set up the 2021 season which is the big one for me where I think we should be pushing for top 8. We have to remember we're not the only club that's going to improve during the off season. I think we're getting a little carried away again with "not making the top 8 isn't acceptable". For me if we finish top 8 it's an over achievement whereas if we finish bottom 4 it's an underachievement (maybe even saying bottom 4 is an underachievement is harsh, I just really don't want to see it).
 
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dogwhisperer

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However, they know things must be turned around next year, after missing the finals for three straight years for the first time since the 1960s.
Why does the media always get this wrong? We missed the finals for 4 straight years from 1989 to 1992.
 

dogwhisperer

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I'll be happy to finish outside the bottom 4 again. If we can finish around 10th it'll really set up the 2021 season which is the big one for me where I think we should be pushing for top 8. We have to remember we're not the only club that's going to improve during the off season. I think we're getting a little carried away again with "not making the top 8 isn't acceptable". For me if we finish top 8 it's an over achievement whereas if we finish bottom 4 it's an underachievement (maybe even saying bottom 4 is an underachievement is harsh).
Far out, I'm glad you weren't around me offering some advise when I was facing some challenges throughout my life.

You're just so full of doom and gloom aren't you. Look up the word pessimist in the dictionary and it will probably have your name written there.
 

c-b-b

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The aim and mindset must be finals footy every year.

You can't go into the season saying we won't play finals football like Pay said in an article a few weeks back about 2020.

They've just to keep playing with the belief and intent they have over the last part of the season.
 

bradyk

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Far out, I'm glad you weren't around me offering some advise when I was facing some challenges throughout my life.

You're just so full of doom and gloom aren't you. Look up the word pessimist in the dictionary and it will probably have your name written there.
So you get annoyed if someone has a different opinion to you? I'm just being realistic. Anything can happen tho. I'm not going to lie to myself or you by writing or saying something I don't agree with. I'm not a psychologist that's going to try and mind fuck you to fix you.
 

Alan79

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We never lacked effort in the opening stages of this year. But many of our early losses reminded me that our squad was very light on experience and prone to compounding errors. At times we got ourselves into a good position to mount pressure but pushed one too many passes and let our opponents get momentum back. We'd follow that up by looking like we panicked and coughed up the ball coming out of our own end.

I've trained some people in a few jobs and know that nerves can make competent people drop their marbles under pressure in jobs where they aren't under a portion of the scrutiny of the NRL. So I can easily forgive our poor start to the season. I can forgive Pay for not being able to get them playing calm football in those situations.

I don't expect smooth sailing next year. We will still shoot ourselves in the foot in some games. But hopefully the youngsters in the team have gained enough experience to not fall apart under pressure. If they've been able to gain some composure to take into the early games of next season we'll be a far better team through the first half of the season.
 

dogwhisperer

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So you get annoyed if someone has a different opinion to you? I'm just being realistic. Anything can happen tho. I'm not going to lie to myself or you by writing or saying something I don't agree with. I'm not a psychologist that's going to try and mind fuck you to fix you.
I think you're the one that needs fixing. You've probably mind screwed yourself anyway
 

kungfuman

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I’m not going to get carried away about next year we did similar last year an played like a busted arse this year until we were no hope of finals and we had nothing to lose.

We are still in real need of a decent hooker, half, centre, winger and dynamic prop
Different team last year and the start of this one it had a different feel the end of this year
 
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