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Academy Update with Gus

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs General Manager of Football Phil Gould has provided the following Academy update:

"Now that the Junior Rep Football season has concluded, we will enter into a new phase of the Bulldogs Pathways Academy for the next three months of the 2024 season.

"Recapping to this point in the year … Our Harold Matthew’s Cup Under 17s team finished Minor Premiers. Our SG Ball Cup Under 19s team played in the Grand Final. After 9 rounds our Jersey Flegg Cup Under 21s team currently sits in second place. Our NSW Cup Senior team also sits in second place.

"There is obviously a long way to go in season 2024 and an even longer way to go in the overall development of our Club, but we have built strong foundations that hopefully lead us to sustainable success in our longer-term future. The aim is not so much to be winning these lower grade Pathways competitions, but rather our priority is to run programs that develop future NRL talent.

"Over the next three months, we will start to promote younger players into higher grades and in to open-age competitions like the NSWRL Ron Massey Cup and NSW State Cup. These are great development Competitions and the final testing ground for those players we hope will eventually graduate to the NRL level.

"Players will be regularly rotated from one grade to another, between the restricted age and open age competitions. Some players will be tried in different grades and in different positions to assist with their education and development. It’s all part of the process of learning how to become a professional rugby league player.

"During this period it may be difficult for fans to keep up with team changes, and game results may become a little random. These are very competitive competitions. But the priority here is the development of these players as individuals and giving them valuable education and experience.

"Every week the coaches and Academy staff meet to review performances and monitor individual progress. The program is designed to find a level of football for every player at every age. Progression through the system is an individual thing. Some will develop quicker than others. There is no hard and fast rule to this process. Patience and perseverance are the key.

"For the younger players, some will return to junior league competitions. Others will return to their hometowns to play in local senior leagues. We monitor all these performances as well. Selected groups will come to Belmore at regular intervals to continue in Academy programs.

"I will provide a further update on our progress in a couple of months. I hope you are enjoying the 2024 season so far. Our players and coaches are working extremely hard and I could not be happier with the character and culture I see in our players, coaches and staff every day. Our Football Club Board has done an outstanding job over the past few years to provide the funding and support to make these Academy programs a reality. They are all passionate rugby league people and they are all BULLDOGS.

"Our major sponsor Arthur Laundy and his family, have become heavily invested in our Club and provided us with tremendous support and stability. So too have all our Corporate partners and Members. We wouldn’t be able to build and run these programs for our players without your support. And of course, a special thanks to our major supporter and financial contributor, Canterbury Leagues Club. You are always there for us. We are all in this together.

"I will provide an update on our Women’s Rugby League program in the next few weeks as we work towards our introduction into the NRLW competition in season 2025. There is plenty of excitement around our Club regarding the Women’s program and the NRLW.

"I look forward to seeing you all at the football."


Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.