Trent Barrett

Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett has finally moved into his office at Canterbury and has quickly gotten into business, declaring his interest in Penrith young gun Matt Burton.

The Bulldogs have made their interest in the 20-year-old known, with plans in place to lure the halfback from the Panthers a year prior to the end of his contract.

Barrett quickly impressed his new following at Belmore with the signing of Roosters half Kyle Flanagan, whilst adding David Furner, Craig Sandercock and David Tangata-Toa to his coaching panel.

Burton’s place under Ivan Cleary is a curious one. While showing all the potential and promise of a big future, he will be stuck behind Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai in the halves stocks.

The Panthers have hinted they would be prepared to move Burton into the centres or back row to keep him on their roster, with the club also aiming to re-sign Stephen Crichton and Isaah Yeo.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Barrett said Burton would be a sensational addition to his side.

“We’d love Matt on board here next year,” he said.

“He’s only a young player but he’s someone with a lot of ability and whose pathway is a bit blocked at Penrith.

“He’d certainly be handy. He needs to decide where he wants to be in 2022 and 2023 first.

“We’ve got two spots left. There will be a lot of moving parts in regards to recruitment.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what we have here. There are some players I don’t know a lot about, and because there was no Canterbury Cup this year there are players who haven’t played a lot of footy.”

Speaking on Flanagan, Barrett stated his excitement to be able to work with such an exciting playmaker.

“Kyle is very important for us, he’s a very good young player and someone we can build our team around for a long time,” Barrett said.

“I’m very excited to get hold of him. The skill set is there and he ticks a lot of boxes.

“He’s calm, a good kicker of the ball and a good organiser. He walked into a premiership team stuck between two internationals in Luke Keary and James Tedesco. It was never going to be easy for him but he did a great job and we’re lucky to have him.”

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