AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 16: Bulldogs head coach Dean Pay looks on during the round 1 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/2019 Getty Images)

Dean Pay has signaled an intent to return to the hottest seat in the NRL.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Pay said he feels he has the ability to take on a top job somewhere and make it work.

Pay coached the Bulldogs up until midway through last year and after some time away from the game believes he can offer something at clubland.

“At the end of the day you get a bit of an itch watching it again,” Pay said.

“I think I’ve got a fair bit to offer.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 31: Bulldogs head coach Dean Pay looks on during the round three NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Campbelltown Stadium on March 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“I’ve been around a fair bit, seen a fair bit and coached a lot of good players. I’ve seen the best of it and the worst of it.

“What it’s taught me is that you need to work hard and give it everything you’ve got. You try to prepare your footy team and club as best you can.

“It’s been good for me, to tell you the truth, to step back for a bit and have a look back in.

“It’s given me the opportunity to take stock, have a look, be re-energised and be ready to go again.”

Pay’s time at the Bulldogs, while ultimately unsuccessful, was largely positive. The club was in dire straights when he took over both on and off-field and he managed to guide them to 12th place in his first two years.

The Bulldogs’ struggles have continued in the post-Pay era, showing that the job he inherited maybe wasn’t as easy as some thought.

It also speaks to the job he did, to guide the Dogs up the table seems like a fair achievement given their current standing in the game.

Pay said that he thought he did all he could and that the Bulldogs were better off when he left than when he arrived.

“I feel I really contributed to getting the place back in order,” he said.

“We had some cap problems when we first started and the club is back on an even keel now. We did some good things while I was there.

“I certainly learnt a lot. I was really appreciative of getting the job and enjoyed it. I learnt a fair bit along the way.

NRL Rd 18 - Bulldogs v Sea Eagles
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Raymond Faitala-Mariner of the Bulldogs and his team mates look dejected after a Sea Eagles try during the round 18 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Manly Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium on September 11, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“At the end of the day, when [the players] walked off you knew they had given me everything they had. That’s what we wanted to do, to make sure we gave it everything we had.

“Sometimes a lack of polish and ability let us down, but we wanted to make sure we put in everything we could for our jumper and our fans. The whole club, we wanted to make sure they were proud of us.

“That was a real strong point with the boys, every week they turned up and had a red-hot crack.

“There’s obviously a fair way to go, but we were really moving towards not only being a better first grade team, but a better club as well.”