Former Penrith assistant coach Trent Barrett reportedly has three Panther stars in his sights on a dream wish list.
The new Bulldogs trainer has been keeping an eye on rising star Matt Burton since July – but the talented playmaker is only the tip of the iceberg in the Bulldogs’ planned attack on the small premier roster.
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Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie told Sky Sports Radio Wednesday that the Bulldogs are also watching forward Isaah Yeo and newly selected NSW star Stephen Crichton.
Ritchie said the Bulldogs are “privately hopeful” that they could steal Burton for the 2021 season – despite the 20-year-old who is under contract with the Panthers until the end of next season.“However, privately they hope if he approves in 2022 they will try to move it forward,” he said.
“You know how it works, you get an early release pretty easily these days.”
Crichton and Yeo are also expected to be non-contractual by the end of 2021.
However, the dogs will have a fight with Storm, Tigers and Cowboys who are reportedly chasing Burton, who was pushed off the Panthers home by the formidable form of playmaker Jarome Luai and full-back Dylan Edwards.
It comes after the Panthers warned Barrett earlier this year about stealing their stars when he retired from his role as senior assistant to the club under Ivan Cleary this season.
Ritchie said the dogs paid off also top the list in signing Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr just days after the club confirmed the signing of former Roosters center-back Kyle Flanagan.
Flanagan confirmed his departure on Monday with an Instagram post.
“Shocked and disappointed. I want to thank everyone involved with my time at @sydneyroosters, ”Flanagan wrote. “A roller coaster year, but full of memories that I will remember forever.
“For the fans, I appreciate the ongoing support, it was unreal. For the boys I loved every minute with you guys. ”
It was already reported on Monday that Flanagan’s move to the Bulldogs will trigger a “gamblers madness” in which Cowboys star Jake Clifford could move to the Knights.
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