The Canterbury Bulldogs are close to bringing home one of their favourite sons, after it was revealed that Phil Gould has met with Josh Reynolds about the possibility of a train-and-trial deal as he seeks an NRL swansong.
Reynolds, who has recently returned from a two-year stint in the Super League, met with Gould over the weekend.
“Josh sent me a text message some months ago that he was going to retire from the game in England and he was coming back to Sydney and that he’d like to do something with the Bulldogs club,” Gould revealed on Channel 9’s 100% Footy.
“I met him and his manager on the weekend and he raised the issue that he might train through the off-season and see whether or not he was ready to play."
Already 33 years old, Reynolds knows his playing future is limited at best. But Gould confirmed that both Reynolds and the club want the five-eighth involved in some capacity, whether on or off the field.
“He’d like to do something with the young blokes and provide a bit of leadership around the club,” Gould said.
“Having a respected old Bulldog around the club might be handy for us.
“At this stage there’s no problem with giving him an off-season of training and seeing how he feels and leaving it up to him.
“I said I would speak to (Cameron Ciraldo) and have him speak with Josh.”
Reynolds played 138 NRL games for his beloved Bulldogs before a stint at Wests Tigers. He moved to Hull for the 2021 season, but despite some initial success the parties mutually agreed to terminate his contract at the end of June.
“It just hasn’t worked out how we all would have liked,” said Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson at the time.
“Confidence is a big factor when anyone is playing. I think Josh lost some confidence after some injuries and I don’t believe he was playing his best footy. I think he’d admit that as well.”
Rumours of a return to the Bulldogs surfaced almost immediately after Reynolds left the English side, which Gould was forced to address the matter at the start of August.
With the club making their interest in both Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster known in the last week, it remains to be seen where Reynolds fits in Gould’s plans for the future – but the former local hero is eager to return in any capacity.
“I miss it, I miss being Prince of Belmore,” Reynolds told the Sydney Morning Herald in March.
“I loved it, I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since. It was the best time of my life.
“What the club and the fans and the area have done for my life – I’ll never be able to repay them. I’ll always be a Bulldog.”