The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have continued their quest to work closely with players from the past by forming the ‘Bulldogs Captains Circle’ as a Mentor Group to work with the club this year.
Amongst the group is 2004 premiership winning captain Andrew Ryan.
Ryan led the team to the club’s eighth premiership after a 16-13 win over the Sydney Roosters with the captain playing a crucial role in the final moments of the game when he made a desperate tackle on Roosters player Michael Crocker to deny the Chooks a match winning try.
Ryan will join Dr George Peponis (1980), Steve Mortimer (1984/85), Peter Tunks (1988) and Terry Lamb (1995) to form a mentoring group that will work with the players at training and be present on match day.
“It honestly blows me away to even know these guys, let alone be involved in something like this with these men. I dreamt as a kid to play for this club and then was lucky enough to be captain and to hang around and be involved with something like this is unbelievable,” said Ryan.
The five gentlemen will play a crucial role in working with the current playing group and Coach Dean Pay.
The captains will be seen around Belmore at training and on Game day, and will be called upon to share their stories and experiences with the 2018 playing squad.
“It will give us an opportunity to speak about our experiences at this club and what made our time so special. The current crop get to pull the jersey on and make their own moments, but I guess for me coming to this club as a young fella and respecting everyone that played in the jersey before us and the impact this club had on my life, is what I will be looking to share,” added Ryan.
Dean Pay expressed his desire to bring back as many players from the past as possible and make them welcome around the club on training and match days: “I think it is crucial that we tap into the great history and tradition we have here at the club. There have been so many quality players that have passed through the club in recent years that we would be crazy not to take advantage of their experience and skills. The Captains Circle will offer our current players a link to the past and will be a great addition to our coaching structure.”