The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are excited to announce the re-signing of forward Raymond Faitala-Mariner for a further three years.
A much-loved favourite amongst Members and fans, the Samoan and New Zealand dual international's contract extension will see him serve 10 years with the club when he runs out for the blue and white in 2025.
Currently in his seventh season at the Bulldogs since making his club debut in 2016, the Auckland-born forward is grateful to remain at Belmore.
Faitala-Mariner extends lead for Bulldogs
"I call it my second home. Coming from New Zealand alone as a 22 year old, I didn't have many people to fall back on and to support me. I was fortunate to have boys like Sam Kasiano, Josh Reynolds and Greg Eastwood. Guys that gave me my first experience as to why this club was called the Family Club.
To be in a position where I can extend my stay in Belmore for another three years, I can only thank God for giving me the strength and support," said Faitala-Mariner.
2021 Community Service Award: Raymond Faitala-Mariner
The 2021 Bulldogs Community Service Award winner made his long awaited return to the field this season in Round 11 against the Wests Tigers in front of a packed out Leichhardt Oval.
A momentous occasion for his family, friends and football staff who supported him through the tough times.
The forward said, "There was a lot of uncertainty with the setbacks that I had.
The club has shown a lot of faith in me being away from the game for a year and a half. Phil Gould has been really good, messaging me every fortnight to see how I am."
Despite the loss, it was a moment of relief for the 94-gamer, who spent a significant time on the sideline since suffering a leg injury against the Penrith Panthers in Round 2, 2021.
The Otahuhu Leopard’s junior has persevered through multiple disappointments during the last two seasons. It is through this experience in which he hopes to empower the next crop of talent coming through the Bulldogs system.
"Now that I'm one of the older heads in the squad, you know, we have a lot of young fellas coming through.
What can I do to bring the best out of these young fellas, so that we can move in a direction where this club can be in a successful again."
Bulldogs Chief Executive Aaron Warburton was pleased with Faitala-Mariner’s commitment to the club.
“This is a very proud moment for the Club. Throughout his time at the Bulldogs, Ray has grown to become a very strong leader amongst our squad. Not only has he developed as a player, he’s contributed to the growth of so many of his peers, whilst working tirelessly on his recovery from injury.
“To see Ray’s commitment to his rehabilitation is no different to his dedication to this Club – Ray bleeds Blue and White.
Since Ray’s return this season, we’ve been reminded of his strengths and contribution to the Bulldogs. Ray is a fan favourite and we’re looking forward to the next three years.”
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