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The untold story of how the Bulldogs let Johnathan Thurston sign with the Cowboys

Discussion in 'Bulldogs Discussion Archive' started by pisssst, Sep 29, 2015.

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  1. pisssst

    pisssst CEO

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    There's the one that got away and then there's the story of how the Bulldogs inexplicably let the Cowboys pinch Johnathan Thurston – when he would have stayed in Sydney for less money.

    Sitting in the carpark at Belmore, Thurston burst into tears when told that Canterbury no longer wanted him.

    That was 2004, which seems an eternity away from Monday night when his status as one of the game's true greats was cemented after he claimed a record fourth Dally M player of the year award.



    The 32-year-old's long-time manager Sam Ayoub has revealed to Fairfax Media the extraordinary decision from Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes and chief executive Malcolm Noad to let him go.



    "He was offered between $220,000 and $240,000 a year [by the Cowboys], which was very good money back then," Ayoub said. "[Cowboys coach] Graham Murray saw a lot in him. The thing about it is that he didn't want to leave. He was happy. He wanted to stay at Canterbury.

    "They got to $140,000 at that stage. I took Johnathan in, it was the third of July, and the Cowboys needed an answer. We met at 8am with Folkes and Noad. I said, 'This is the offer from the Cowboys. Johnathan is keen to stay here'. They had just signed Brent Sherwin for five years and Braith Anasta for three years. It was my better judgement that Johnathan should move on with those players ahead of him.

    "But he was prepared to stay for 30 per cent less than what he was going to get at Townsville. Folkesy said, 'Nah mate, he should take that money and go'. We would've stayed there for $170,000.

    "We went out to the carpark and sat in the car and I told him that it was a good thing, because he didn't have to make a decision. It had been made for him. Then he burst into tears because he really wanted to stay."

    Hindsight is a wonderful but worthless commodity when it comes to player recruitment and retention, but this one must sting Dogs fans with Thurston poised to lead the Cowboys to a breakthrough premiership against the Broncos in the grand final on Sunday.

    It was the Bulldogs who showed faith in him when others didn't, signing Thurston as a teenager when no other club wanted him because he was considered too small, too lean and a liability in defence.




    Somewhere in Ayoub's Aladdin's cave of thousands of player contracts is one for Thurston for zero dollars with Canterbury. Months before this, Ayoub had emailed all clubs about the possibility of taking on the prodigious playmaker he knew would be a superstar.

    The first club that had shown interest was the Roosters, but they also passed on Thurston because of concerns about his deficiencies in defence.

    Folkes did not return text messages last night, but Noad said the club simply didn't have enough money in the salary cap to sign Thurston, who at that stage had only played a handful of first grade matches.

    "There was no room to move on what we could offer him," recalled Noad. "If we had room to move, we would've moved to sign him. I don't recall Steve saying that [Thurston should take the money at the Cowboys]. He wanted him to stay. I don't recall Steve being ambivalent about keeping him. He had a high opinion of him. Nobody knew then how good Johnathan was going to be. He had only played a few first grade matches, and we were also trying to keep [off-contract captain] Steve Price. Both Steve and I very pleased to see how his career has played out."


    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/...on-sign-with-the-cowboys-20150929-gjxgiv.html
     
  2. Bulldogs09

    Bulldogs09 Kennel Immortal

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    Makes me want to slit my wrists. I would honestly pay 30k of my own ****ing money for JT to return. ****ing depressing.

    All well and good to say if we had him we wouldn't have who we have had. May never of seen Morris boys or Pritchard or Graham or Eastwood etc join.

    Though Klemmer, Jackson, Reynolds, Kas, Barba etc would of come along. Who knows may of even seen SBW stick it out.

    One thing I am sure of is we damn sure would have another title at least in the last decade with him and the likes of the kids we've produced.
     
  3. south of heaven

    south of heaven Kennel Immortal Premium Member

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    Ahh you get a bloke who was willing to stay at the club he loves taking a pay cut even , was gutted left crying in a car park.
    Then years later you get dorothy
     
  4. c-b-b

    c-b-b Super Moderator Staff Member Gilded Premium Member

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    He was good enough to play in the grand final but not worth making an offer for. Then he wins the dally m in 2005. I've got alot of respect for Graham Murray, he could identify talent and was a good coach.

    Seems like some things don't change with our club, they still can't identify and sign the right talent.
     
  5. doggies15

    doggies15 Kennel Regular

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    Blame des, its his fault!
    Lmao!
     
  6. ASSASSIN

    ASSASSIN The Bearded Crusader Gilded Premium Member The Kennel's Top Poster

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    I'll say it on behalf of everyone..... Folkes and Noad are dumb ****s.
     
  7. Legend23

    Legend23 Kennel Enthusiast

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    Thanks bro. well said.
     
  8. ASSASSIN

    ASSASSIN The Bearded Crusader Gilded Premium Member The Kennel's Top Poster

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    Had to clean it up a bit lol since it was on behalf of everyone lol
     
  9. Bluewhiteangel

    Bluewhiteangel Kennel Enthusiast

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    Didn't Folkes say the same thing to O' Meley when he signed for the Rorters? , to take the money?

    I always was of the impression that the reason he was let you was because of the Coff harbour thing.
    Either way , we let JT go and kept players like Trent Cutler and the rest is history.

    What makes it worse is , we kept Anasta who the following year pissed off to the Rorters .
     
  10. south of heaven

    south of heaven Kennel Immortal Premium Member

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    Shits me even more knowing anasta knew he was getting paid massive overs and still left for more money after the club cheated and loaded the c*** up with $$$$
     
  11. Bulldogz82

    Bulldogz82 Kennel Regular

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    This will forever be what might have been, I'm guessing we would have had a minimum of 3 premierships from 05-now if he stayed. Fkn folkes!!! I'm sure sbw did the runner because of him too and the $$$$ ofcoarse lol
     
  12. Wolfmother

    Wolfmother Kennel Immortal

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    if only they would ask us at the kennel before making decisions
     
  13. Bulldogz82

    Bulldogz82 Kennel Regular

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    Lolll the kennel is never wrong with things like this that's for sure...we would be unstoppable if the club got the thoughts of the fans who seem to be smarter then the club
     
  14. FaceBreaker

    FaceBreaker Kennel Immortal

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    Every time someone mentions the dogs near anasta at fox sports he smirks.

    That c*** know he fuked us harder than any single player in the history of the game.
     
  15. Bulldogz82

    Bulldogz82 Kennel Regular

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    Totally agree, he's the actual reason jt isn't still a bulldog, the club chose him to partner Sherwin rather then jt then he slipped us the total insult of leaving to the Rorters for the $$$ even though he was more then getting looked after at the dogs money wise
     
  16. Sancho2020

    Sancho2020 Kennel Immortal Gilded

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    This story has been told a million times lol
     
  17. s-704

    s-704 Kennel Immortal

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    08 was a sinking ship anyone would've wanted out asap.
     
  18. south of heaven

    south of heaven Kennel Immortal Premium Member

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    And its still as fukking painful reading it every time fukk you anastasia
     
  19. w00t

    w00t Kennel Immortal

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    Anasta is also the reason why Sherwin came from being one of the most amazing halfbacks on the planet to becoming a depressed, useless shadow of his former self. If Thurston was in the No.6 with Sherwin partnering him i have no doubt he would've blossomed just as well. Our club's policy has always been to keep a billion high paid forwards and let crucial players go.

    People can say hindsight all they want but with Thurston here, we would've been dangerous even in the rebuilding phases. And for one we wouldn't have the money to throw at players like T-Rex who has been next to useless for us, one because he is a lazy prick and two because he needs to be told what to do and our halves are just as stupid as he is.

    Doesn't seem like our club has learned at all either, we still stack up on forwards and constantly neglect the halves, DCE and Foran were avaliable this year and yet we did absolutely nothing to try and sign them, its f*cking ridiculous. We made Barba into a superstar in 2012 and when he shafted us, instead of signing another creative, playmaking fullback with flair we decide the best course is to sign a world class winger and ask him to play fullback, which he has done admirably but still highlights the stupidity of our decision
     
  20. BulldogzLegend

    BulldogzLegend Kennel Enthusiast

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    You guys are off your head if you think that is why Anasta smirks
    He loves the dogs but the roosters paper bag or putt putt money- anyone who knows about what happened when Anasta left will understand the putt / money bet Politis offered him

    He still loves the dogs don't doubt it
     
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