Canterbury confirm Pay as new top dog

Sep 28, 2017 - 1:58 AM Canterbury have turned to former captain Dean Pay to lead them back to premiership glory after confirming a two-year deal for him to be head coach on Thursday.

The Bulldogs had been on the lookout for a new mentor since their messy split with Des Hasler a fortnight ago that could head to the courts over a payout dispute.

However the club hasn't taken long to move on, announcing Pay as their new coach two days after he was interviewed.

"The Bulldogs have a great history and tradition and I'm looking forward to the chance to work with a talented group of players, where respect and discipline will be the cornerstones of how we go about our business," Pay said in a club statement.

"The club has great foundations, facilities, staff and an incredible fan base. It is important that we work hard to make our supporters proud."

Pay, 48, takes on more than your standard head coach role as the club searches for on-field success - the last of their eight NRL titles was in 2004, after losing the 2012 and 2014 grand finals.

There has been major upheaval at the end of the 2017 season with the Bulldogs parting ways with CEO Raelene Castle, skipper James Graham, and popular local junior Josh Reynolds, as well as Hasler.

It will be Pay's first gig as top dog following an extensive apprenticeship. He was assistant to Kevin Walters at Super League's the Catalans Dragons in 2009; then Under-20s coach with Melbourne under Craig Bellamy (2010-12), followed by assistant NRL coaching roles at Parramatta (2013) and Canberra (2014-2017).

Pay is also undefeated in five series with the NSW State of Origin U20s team.

The announcement comes just a day after chairman Ray Dib promised to restore the club's culture by bringing former players back to Belmore.

Pay, a former Australia and NSW State of Origin representative, was part of the club's 1995 premiership which was his final game in seven years wearing the blue-and-white.

Former Bulldogs' Dally M medal winner in Michael Potter has also been linked with a move back to the club as an assistant.

"Dean is a Bulldogs man through and through and someone who totally understands the history and tradition of the club," chairman Ray Dib said on Thursday.

"He was an outstanding player with the club and has carried that over into his coaching career, where he has worked under some excellent coaches, as well as showing that he can lead from the front with his superb record with the NSW under-20s side.

"We want to bring back the Bulldogs' culture of old and feel strongly that Dean is the man to do this."

Pay will be tasked with lifting the Bulldogs back into premiership contention after they missed the finals for the first time in six seasons this year.

The 360 points they scored was 50 points less than the next best club.

Big-name signings Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran are also expected to bring immediate change, offsetting the loss of Graham and Reynolds.

Source: AAP

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