Head Coach Trent Barrett joined Gerald Middleton (GM), Laurie Daley (LD) and Michael Clarke (MC) this morning on the Big Sports Breakfast to discuss a wide variety of topics, including his move to Belmore, the pre-season and the club’s recruitment and retention plans.
GM: Have you been able to detect a shift in the mindset of the club since you walked through the doors?
TB: I think so. Given the players that were now attracting to the club, that’s certainly helped from a perception point of view from an outsider looking in. It’s been really good from my end in here. It’s a really good club, we have a lot of good people here and the players are working really hard. I’m really happy.
MC: Is there one thing that sets this club apart?
TB: It’s special and you feel it the moment you walk in here to be honest. There’s a hell of a lot of history in the club and you can feel that when you come here. The area just in around Belmore, there very passionate about their footy club. It’s a real football club with a very big fan base and a hell of a lot of good players have come through here. We see a lot of them around which is really good. We have tried to involve a lot of lessons in and around our history with the players most days. You can see why they have been so successful. The players feel it, I certainly feel it and it’s a really good club.
LD: What’s one key thing you want to be said about your football team and to be none as?
TB: One thing we want to do is for our supporters or one watching us is that we look organised, we’re disciplined and we look comfortable in what we’re doing. From an attacking point of view that’s important that we are organised, we’re clinical and from a defence point of view that we’re tough and again we’re organised. We need to be a calm team as well and there is a hell of a lot in it. I want the players to feel safe here at Canterbury, it’s their club and it needs to feel like their home. We have done a fair bit of work on that over the last month and they’re doing really well. We’re excited, but we still have a fair bit of work to do.
MC: How much accountability is on you in regards to the players you go and sign and do you have full say in who you bring to the club?
TB: Yeah I do. We have a retention committee where we do discuss a lot of things, but in terms of the player that we want to bring, it’s really down to me and the coaching staff. We’re all involved, but we have a clear idea of the type of player we need to bring in. We have been very clinical in the type of player we have targeted. We haven’t really missed anyone at this stage that we have gone after and I think that’s really important. We can’t get it wrong, because you just can’t get out of it. Bad decisions from a recruitment point of view have pretty big implications with your cap. Difficult to get out of, so we have to make sure we nail it because you only get one go at it. So far so good and we just need to keep going and make sure the ones we bring in are the right ones.
MC: How did you personally get that balance between I know where I am going (Canterbury), but I know where I sit right now (Penrith), and I need to concentrate on that?
TB: It was hard at times. It took some discipline. Luckily for me I had an hour and a half commute to training back and forth to Wollongong. I got a lot of stuff done and really focused on my Canterbury work in the car and I could do a lot of it on the phone. I had a little rule for myself that the phone got turned off and put in the draw as soon as I walked into the car park at Penrith and I was solely focused. I didn’t want to give anyone an incling that I was distracted, so that was a little personal goal for me. I really enjoyed my time at Penrith last year we had a really good year and it was disappointing to miss out on the grand final at the end. Certainly learnt a lot as well and there a re a few things that I will take away from that experience as well.
LD: You played a major role in the way Penrith attacked last year. Can we expect when we are watching the Bulldogs to see that style implemented at the Dogs?
TB: The bones of it will be a little bit similar. There is some similarities between Kyle Flanagan and Nathan Cleary to be honest. They’re both quite calm. Kyle will have his hands on the ball a lot as did Nathan Cleary. There will be a few things that we will change because it depends on personal. We’re getting there now. Ray Mariner has been one that has stood out for me in the short pre-season. There’s a bit of Kikau about him actually, he’s a big body and a bit of a weapon on an edge. He’s one that I’m a little bit excited about. We will work our way out. Our attack will morph into sort of what it wants to be through the course of the year.
GM: Can Dogs fans expect more signings?
TB: Yeah there are still spots there. We’re still working hard behind the scenes to fill them. We have a couple of good kids here in our juniors to that we will probably bring through if we don’t get who we want or can’t get them for the following year. We’ve got room, but there is probably only two or three that we have really targeted that we want to bring in and we have just got to go about our business and try and get them. Still room to move, still some players to get.