Trent Barrett claims Canterbury at all times deliberate to carry Kyle Flanagan again from NRL exile and into first grade, venting his frustration of criticism levelled in opposition to the membership.
Flanagan’s return in opposition to defending premiers Penrith has prompted fierce debate across the Bulldogs’ dealing with of the half, with the workforce on a three-game shedding streak.
Barrett has been accused of setting the halfback as much as fail within the conflict in opposition to Penrith, with Canterbury’s final premiership-winning five-eighth Braith Anasta labelling the choice a hospital go.
That in itself prompted a staunch defence from Phil Gould, adamant he was a serious a part of the choice in easy methods to deal with the 23-year-old this pre-season.
However the Bulldogs are assured the time is correct for Flanagan to be Matt Burton’s third halves associate in 5 video games.
Dropped after 9 rounds final yr and used sparingly since then, Flanagan has helped the Bulldogs to an undefeated opening month in reserve grade whereas taking the road on and enjoying with confidence.
“We had a plan from the get go, so we caught to it,” Barrett mentioned.
“I feel it is labored. Kyle’s performances (in NSW Cup) have helped him loosen up a bit and he is enjoying properly.
“They’re the one components that actually got here into it, after we thought he was prepared.
“There have been discussions with Kyle and different individuals near him about how we wished him to develop.
“We thought that he wanted time to work on just a few issues in his recreation. And to his credit score, he is carried out that.”
Barrett mentioned he had not had conversations with Flanagan round how lengthy the No.7 jersey could be assured, after each Jake Averillo and Brandon Wakeham lasted solely two weeks.
As a substitute, he claimed he hoped Flanagan may maintain it for the following 10 seasons, insisting he was what the Bulldogs now wanted at halfback.
“We do not have to have these conversations. Kyle’s a grown man,” Barrett mentioned.
“We have to choose groups that we predict can win on the weekend and provides us our greatest likelihood of successful.
“We predict he will help with our route. Our assault inside 20 has been been a bit bit extraordinary I believed.
“That is a powerful a part of Kyle’s recreation.”
Barrett does nevertheless concern the highlight on Flanagan this week will add undesirable stress on the half, after arriving at Canterbury final yr when launched following one yr on the Sydney Roosters.
“(The commentary is) disappointing,” Barrett mentioned.
“We wish to be wanting on the different facet of it, celebrating how onerous Kyle has labored to get again within the workforce,” Barrett mentioned.
“That is the place the main target ought to be, not on the remainder of it and all of the innuendo.
“He is earned his spot, the place that will get misconstrued by all this different stuff I do not know.”