Dogs Skipper Considers Retirement
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan is being forced to consider life after the NRL, the 12-time State of Origin Blues representative star facing retirement or a move to the Super League.
Following the controversial sacking of Dogs coach Kevin Moore last week, Ryan’s future in the NRL and at Canterbury after this season is under a growing cloud of doubt.
Moore became the sacrificial lamb at the Sydney club after a horror start to the Bulldogs season this NRL Telstra Premiership has them sitting 12th on the ladder and an unlikely shot at a finals bid come September.
Rumours are that Ryan is next on the Dogs’ chopping block, the 32-year-old having donned the blue and white Canterbury colours since transferring from Parramatta in 2003, captaining the Bulldogs for six seasons.
Having played close to 200 games for the club, loyalty seems to mean little as board members look to move Ryan on in favour of the emerging young guns coming through the Bulldogs ranks.
Ryan said he was keeping his options open in regards to where he will be next year, emphasising that his exit from the Bulldogs was not set in stone.
“Nothing has been decided,” Ryan said.
“Retirement is an option, also going to England and playing next year (in the Super Rugby) is an option as well.
“I guess I just have to wait and see what happens.”
Turning 33 next month, Ryan has always said he would not stand in the way of young talent and that as a veteran of the game he would be happy to give up his position for that of a progressive player.
He also said he hoped that a decision over his future at the club would be made in the next week or so.
“But it’s not my decision,” he added.
Still, there are six games left of the 2011 NRL Premiership’s regular season and Ryan is keeping his chin up that the Dogs can start to show more much more on the field.
“My role is to be positive and upbeat,” he said.
“I’m the captain and I’ve been around the club for a long time.
“I put my hand up, we all need to work harder.
“I don’t think you’re ever 100 per cent happy with your game – I know I’m not.
“There’s always things I can work on and improve, but when you lose you start thinking.
“It hits you pretty hard when you’re not winning games.”
After a nasty 36 – 12 thrashing by New Zealand last week, the Bulldogs play the Eels at ANZ Stadium this Friday night, a game that is also a must-win for Parra who sit one below the Dogs on the table.