Phil Gould
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Former Penrith Panthers General Manager of Football Phil Gould in the mounting yard to watch his horse Jailbreak compete in race 1 during Sydney Racing at Rosehill Gardens on May 18, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

In an official club statement that was released at 9:58pm AEST on Friday night, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs were ecstatic to announce they had landed their man.

Despite frowns and snarls becoming de riguer at Belmore of late, Dogs fans can finally turn them upside down after it was announced that Phil 'Gus' Gould would be re-joining the battling club as the new General Manager of Football.

Gould's pedigree as a Pup is well known, with the former forward having spent three seasons in blue and white during the early to mid-eighties and guiding the once powerful outfit to the 1988 premiership as head coach.

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Although Gould reportedly rebuked the Bulldogs' advances earlier this season, when his old club came calling again, the 63-year-old couldn't refuse.

However, before a deal could be done, Gould would have to bid farewell to his post at the New Zealand Warriors.

SEE ALSO: Gould's fingerprints are all over Penrith's current success

Despite aiding the Mount Smart franchise in signing a multitude of names during his short-stint with them, the former player, coach and current commentator claimed that he was left frustrated about an inability to really sink his teeth into the role.

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"I had an approach initially from the Bulldogs before Magic Round," Gould said last night on Channel 9.

"At the time I politely declined it because of what the Warriors were doing and what my role was there.

"I'd spoken to the Warriors owner Mark Robinson who's a tremendous man, he and Cameron George the CEO.

SEE ALSO: Hadley sounds off on Bulldogs as potential suitors for Paul Vaughn

"I'd been feeling guilty, because of COVID, the things I wanted to do with the Warriors were just impossible to do."

Gould continued by stating that his all encompassing role would begin by gaining a firm understanding of the Bulldogs' structure from the ground up.

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"It's now just about building relationships within the club and me getting an understanding of who's working there and what they bring to the Bulldogs," he said.

"The salary cap is looking good over the next couple of years if they need to make changes to the roster.

"They've got a good strong junior league … whatever's in the local area we'll support it and increase participation.

SEE ALSO: Bulldogs fans up in arms, demand club re-signs Lachlan Lewis

"We'll set up development pathways within the club.

"I would imagine there's opportunities within country areas for the Bulldogs to have a role in those areas as well. It's an all-encompassing role. It's a very special club. It's always been one of our marquee clubs within Sydney and we want to return it to that level.

In the aforementioned statement, club chairman John Khourey heaped praise on Gould.

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"Phil Gould’s return to our club as GM of Football is phenomenal news for our club, it’s Members, fans and stakeholders," Khourey said.

"He was already part of an amazing run of success that the club had during the eighties and his influence during his time here is something that our fans will always be grateful for.

"Phil has a great relationship with Head Coach Trent Barrett and we firmly believe that he can help to drive us forward to getting back to where we need to be: namely as a Premiership contender once again.

SEE ALSO: Bulldogs centre Will Hopoate tipped for Saints move

"A great deal of work went into ensuring we recruited the right person for the Football Manager role and I am delighted that the club will get to benefit from Phil's knowledge and track record of success, as we look to the future."

Despite Khourey's joy, and the stated relationship with head coach Barrett, Gould has been at odds with his former club of late.

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According to Adam Pengilly of The Sydney Morning Herald, Gould reportedly advised Barrett from taking the head coaching role at Belmore last year and also publicly stated that a "toxic" environment was prevalent at the kennel.

Still, with Gould renowned for his ability to turn the previously struggling Panthers' fortunes around, Bulldogs fans will be hopeful that an identical reversal of form is on the horizon for them.

Canterbury are set to clash with South Sydney at 6:15pm AEST on Sunday night at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.