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News 'What the hell was going on there?': Flanagan hits out at sudden Roosters axing

Spoonman84

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Star Canterbury recruit Kyle Flanagan has taken aim at the Sydney Roosters and coach Trent Robinson for dumping him just one year into a three-year deal, labelling the brutal Bondi axing as "the hardest pill to swallow".

Flanagan has quickly settled in at his new club and says he is feeling comfortable with Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett, but he is still fully digesting why he was suddenly torpedoed by the Roosters.

The 22-year-old has not let that early exit dent his confidence, but admitted being benched for two games midway through last season did catch him off guard.

"It definitely [affected] my confidence during the year when I thought I was playing really well and I was the [competition's] top points scorer, then I didn't play two games out of nowhere," Flanagan told The Sun-Herald.

"I look back now going, 'What the hell was going on there?'

"I was pretty proud with how I responded to that and finished off the season.

"I remember [Robinson] saying to me, 'You're not playing poorly, we just want you to improve'.

"It was quite confusing. We were winning through that whole period there. I went back, trained hard, got back in the team and played well. I thought it was all part of the development.

"That was the most frustrating thing. I signed with the Roosters to grow and develop into the role over the next few years. Then to be told a year later that plan isn't there any more, that was the hardest pill to swallow.

"That was the most frustrating thing. I signed with the Roosters to grow and develop into the role over the next few years. Then to be told a year later that plan isn't there any more, that was the hardest pill to swallow.

"That's the business we're in, I guess."
There was always going to be plenty of expectation on Flanagan coming into the glamour club, which had won two premierships with Cooper Cronk calling the shots. Flanagan believes he more than held his own, however, and clearly so did the Bulldogs, who quickly pounced after things turned sour at Bondi Junction.

Flanagan said he was lucky to have his father, premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan, in his corner. He said Shane always made sure "I'm feeling confident in my own game", but never overstepped the mark in terms of his involvement.

Kyle Flanagan and Roosters coach Trent Robinson chat at training early in the 2020 season before things turned sour.

Kyle Flanagan and Roosters coach Trent Robinson chat at training early in the 2020 season before things turned sour.Getty

Flanagan's axing by the Roosters left many scratching their heads, given the club's halfback options, Lachlan Lam, Drew Hutchison and Sam Walker, are less experienced than Flanagan.

Flanagan is one of several key signings by the Bulldogs and the halfback's respect for Barrett was impossible to ignore.

"I can't say a bad word about 'Baz'," Flanagan said. "I'm so glad I've signed with the Dogs. The confidence he's given me, I'm sure you'll see in the first few rounds the style of football we play.

"I'm so grateful for him to be my coach and I can't wait to form a good combination with him and grow over the next few years.

"I'm a halfback and my job is to lead the footy team around. That's all I've done as a kid, I've been that dominant halfback coming through the grades, and it's time I do that in first grade."

With Matt Burton to join Flanagan in the halves in 2022 – there is no chance Penrith will grant the five-eighth an early release – the big question for Bulldogs fans is who ends up partnering Flanagan in the halves.

Flanagan said he had trained with Lachlan Lewis, Brandon Wakeham and Jake Averillo, and had a soft spot for the latter.

"Everyone has been having a go there," Flanagan said. "Jake Averillo has been going really well. He's a versatile player who can play anywhere in the back line. I like the way he's been going. He's an exciting kid and I like his X-factor – you don't know what you'll get with him.

He's also a ball runner, which complements me.
"Having said that, Brandon and Lachie are training really well, so I'll leave that one for the coach."

Corey Allan arrived at the club this week from Souths and is seen as the front runner for the No.1 jersey. Flanagan and Allan are familiar with each other, having spent time together with the Junior Kangaroos in 2018.

Canterbury have had two of the best goalkickers in the modern era in Daryl Halligan and Hazem El Masri, and Flanagan, one of the NRL's best sharpshooters, is relishing the chance to work with Halligan again.

"I want to take my game to the next level," Flanagan said of his individual goals. "I laid a good platform last year and I want to be more dominant and be able to change a game. And as a team we have to climb up that ladder and focus on the eight."

 
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Dogna88

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So if Avo gets 5/8 this year. Where does that leave him in 2022?

Maybe centre (and Hoppa released) would hope he improves defensively. Maybe Burton Centre (doubtful). If we put him as a utiluty, i doubt he will be a bulldog in 23.
 

GrogDog

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Good on him. Clear the air, have his say so he can move forward in life. Could have said nothing but it's not as if the Rorters deserve the loyalty. Nothing new or surprising that the whore of a club with no culture, no salary cap, no identity, no loyalty act in this disrespectful way. May they crash and burn and Flanno carve them to pieces when we play them next!
 

fro

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So if Avo gets 5/8 this year. Where does that leave him in 2022?

Maybe centre (and Hoppa released) would hope he improves defensively. Maybe Burton Centre (doubtful). If we put him as a utiluty, i doubt he will be a bulldog in 23.
Has to prove he is up to being smashed by the big boys without getting injured first before we worry about him. Can be the greatest player in the world but have to be playing weekly first
 

Spoonman84

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I love the fact he has a chip on his shoulder about Robinson and the Chooks but I hope this is the last time he comments on it publicly. He has had a few comments about it now but the best way to shove it up the Rorters is by playing great footy at the Dogs.

One more thing come on Tbaz give the Flange what he wants and partner him with Averillo!
 

bowleggedwog

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So if Avo gets 5/8 this year. Where does that leave him in 2022?

Maybe centre (and Hoppa released) would hope he improves defensively. Maybe Burton Centre (doubtful). If we put him as a utiluty, i doubt he will be a bulldog in 23.
Yes very interesting and confusing. Thought he will be our long term fullback, although he showed last year his body isn't ready for week to week NRL. Number 14 for a year .
Burton is a good 6 but future is in the back row. Especially the way the game is heading back to the 90s style.
All just clutching ATM.
 
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So if Avo gets 5/8 this year. Where does that leave him in 2022?

Maybe centre (and Hoppa released) would hope he improves defensively. Maybe Burton Centre (doubtful). If we put him as a utiluty, i doubt he will be a bulldog in 23.
i see it as a positive, whatever happens having competition in key positions is something we've been missing for years. we'll get to see what kind of drive avo has and see if he can rise to the challenge
 

flamebouyant

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Fuck i can't wait until the season starts. We are going to surprise a lot of people, without doubt.
Its also refreshing to hear someone shit on the roosters, while at the same time praising our club. It seems that we finally have the people in place to make our club a very desirable club once more!
 

Bulldogs09

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Been spending too much time around Lewis and is publicly selecting his halves partner :tearsofjoy:
I’d say he’s thinking out loud. While our roster has improved the halves we used last season where fucking woeful. He probably hoping not to be put with them. Jake at least has a running game. Flanagan can do his job a lot easier with someone like that I believe. Also why I think burton is a great long term partner for him.

I’m really impressed so far. While Allan isn’t a gun he’s certainly a solid fullback. I feel with cotric and addo carr we can afford a fullback like Allan. Especially if we replace hoppa with Crichton or staggs (rumoured to be going hard at Crichton)

With 1,6,7 locked in for 2022 on we really just need a hooker (Pray we land B Smith) and for the first time since barba, Reynolds, Hodko and Ennis we have a solid first grade spine. Perhaps even more exciting as it’s young and has the future ahead.

We could then have a few tweaks between kids and solid forwards to replace Napa and Jackson as they come off contract and we are looking really good.
 

Headmix

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I’d say he’s thinking out loud. While our roster has improved the halves we used last season where fucking woeful. He probably hoping not to be put with them. Jake at least has a running game. Flanagan can do his job a lot easier with someone like that I believe. Also why I think burton is a great long term partner for him.

I’m really impressed so far. While Allan isn’t a gun he’s certainly a solid fullback. I feel with cotric and addo carr we can afford a fullback like Allan. Especially if we replace hoppa with Crichton or staggs (rumoured to be going hard at Crichton)

With 1,6,7 locked in for 2022 on we really just need a hooker (Pray we land B Smith) and for the first time since barba, Reynolds, Hodko and Ennis we have a solid first grade spine. Perhaps even more exciting as it’s young and has the future ahead.

We could then have a few tweaks between kids and solid forwards to replace Napa and Jackson as they come off contract and we are looking really good.
Not sure why Crichton would leave the cats for the dogs when he wants to play fullback.. I’d rather staggs
 

Bull Terrier

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I love the fact he has a chip on his shoulder about Robinson and the Chooks but I hope this is the last time he comments on it publicly. He has had a few comments about it now but the best way to shove it up the Rorters is by playing great footy at the Dogs.

One more thing come on Tbaz give the Flange what he wants and partner him with Averillo!
yep Spoonman agree with you that is one thing the most i am hoping seeing Avo and Flano partnered. Hope this happens, Certainly looking good this year our Dogs.
 

liljohny

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Without being biased, he's far better off under the tuition of someone like Barrett.

Robinsons biggest weakness is he can't develop players. All the comps he's won have been purchased (2018 and 2019) or inherited (2013). Additionally, it's clear Cronk did most of the coaching in 2018 and 2019.

Don't look back in anger Flanno, Robinson is a handbrake and neverwasbeen
 
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