Bulldogs part ways with coach Trent Barrett
Trent Barrett has coached his last game for the Bulldogs after the club parted ways with him.
The decision was confirmed following a frenetic 24 hours of board discussions. The Bulldogs are expected to announce later on Monday that Barrett has stood down.
Barrett, who had won just five out of 34 games in charge of the Bulldogs since the start of 2021, was under contract until the end of 2023.
Bulldogs directors were locked in a phone hook-up early on Monday morning during which they discussed Barrett’s future after a Magic Round loss to the Knights. It was those talks that effectively sealed Barrett’s fate and players were notified on Monday they would have a new coach in place for the bottom-of-the-table battle against the Tigers on Friday night.
The club had expected to climb the ladder after the NRL’s most expensive recruitment drive in the off-season, bringing Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Tevita Pangai jnr, Matt Dufty, Paul Vaughan, Brent Naden and Braidon Burns to the club.
But they’ve only recorded a narrow first round win over the Cowboys and a stirring victory over the Roosters through the opening 10 rounds.
The Magic Round collapse against the Knights - which followed a demoralising loss to the Raiders - was enough for frustrated directors to part ways with Barrett.
Canterbury officials cancelled a planned media session on Monday morning at which several players were due to speak to reporters.
The club confirmed the decision in a media release.
“We would sincerely like to thank Trent for all of his hard work and effort over the past 18 months in what has been a very difficult time for the Club,” the statement read.
The Bulldogs were the second club Barrett had taken charge of at NRL level, having previously walked out on Manly with a year to run on his contract after taking them to the finals once in three seasons.
Canterbury sacked coach Dean Pay in the final months of the 2020 season and moved quickly on Barrett, who had been instrumental in Penrith’s grand final run that year as an assistant to Ivan Cleary.
More to come