Bulldogs, Cameron Ciraldo, coach, contract, agreement, how many years, news, Phil Gould


Bulldogs supremo Phil Gould has defended his mysterious handling of the coach hunt, which resulted in the appointment of Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo on Sunday.

Several weeks passed when barely a whisper emerged from the Belmore seat, but among the quiet backdrop there were also several comments from Gould that left the audience puzzled.

The Bulldogs’ general manager of football has repeatedly said he hasn’t started the recruiting process, thought about it once or had no idea about pursuing it.

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Gould’s enigmatic game reached an astonishing point this weekend.

Phil Gould has defended his enigmatic pursuit of a coach hunt, which resulted in the appointment of Cameron Ciraldo on Sunday. (Getty)

“When are we going to hear any news on who will be coaching the Doggies next year?” Paul Gallen asked Gould on 2GB radio on Saturday.

“I have no idea, mate…I’m too busy doing other things,” Gould said.

Ciraldo was announced as the Bulldogs coach the following day.

The highly rated manager will lead Canterbury on a five-year deal from 2023 as the club struggles to overcome a terrible period in their history.

In a gripping clip from television on Nine’s 100% Footy On Monday, Sydney Morning Herald reporter Michael Chammas asked Gould about his confusing recruitment work.

Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo signed as Bulldogs coach from 2023. (Getty)

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“I want to ask you about how this has all been over the last two months, because from day one you said the phone was hot with the candidates,” Chammas said.

“Then you came here and said there were no candidates. You said you wanted an experienced coach and then you refused when we asked you about Cameron Ciraldo. I get it. And then even with the Tigers, you said you would encourage (Ciraldo) to stay at Penrith, which the Tigers thought was sabotage at the time.

“I want to ask you, though. You owe it not to us as the media, but to the fans and members, who vote for the board and vote for the people who hired you to do a job.. Why handle it the way it was handled? Why the need for secrecy around this deal when most people knew you were for Cameron Ciraldo months ago?”

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Gould was candid.

“Is it correct?” he said.

“You’re still putting words in my mouth.

“You don’t know anything about the process we went through.

“Nor am I, as you said, under any obligation to answer that question, or to answer your question, or to answer any of the things I have said over the past few months, which , at the time, were true.”

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Chammas insisted.

“Cameron Ciraldo – you met him months ago, from what I understand,” Chammas said.

“The Tigers got a call saying, out of courtesy, when they were talking to him, saying Phil Gould wanted to meet Cameron Ciraldo, and (the Tigers) warned (the Bulldogs) a few months ago when they were talking.

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“Now, as you said, it’s your prerogative to handle this the way you did, and you have no (obligation) to tell the media anything about what happened in your club, and many fans would be sitting here today at the Bulldogs very happy with the outcome you managed to orchestrate.

“But that secret and the way you handled it…was that vital to closing the deal, do you think?”

“Absolutely,” Gould said.

“Absolutely. Absolutely.”

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