The secret is out on why the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have delayed naming a coach for next season – they want to interview Manly’s Des Hasler once he has completed his commitments with the Sea Eagles this year.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Canterbury have made preliminary contact with a senior player agent who is advising the record-breaking 2008 premiership-winning coach on his future.
It’s a good time for the Bulldogs to be putting out feelers because Hasler is unhappy working under several board members who recently dismissed his long-time friend and media advisor Peter Peters. The same board members earlier this year had the opportunity to extend Hasler’s contract beyond next season but inexplicably refused to do a deal.
Canterbury are also keen on Manly’s recruitment boss Noel Cleal to work alongside Hasler.
It is unlikely Hasler would leave Manly because of his incredibly strong bond with the players, particularly the Stewart brothers, Glenn and Brett.
But the fact the Bulldogs have waited weeks and put a number of other high-profile coaches on hold indicates how keen they are to sit down with Hasler next week or after the grand final – even knowing Manly have an option on his services.
When I asked a senior Canterbury official about their interest in Hasler, he replied: “No comment.” But he added: “Who wouldn’t want Des Hasler?”