With the Bulldogs working through tough times in 2007 to scrape into the NRL Top 8, their eventual humiliation by arch rival Parramatta put the heat squarely back on the club and Premiership winning coach Steve Folkes.
With fans and officials searching for answers, reports suggest Steve Folkes confronted his players and offered his resignation if they felt new blood in the coaching ranks would assist the Bulldogs in the years ahead. A brave and bold move by the dedicated coach, a move that was dismissed quickly by Dogs players as they put a forgettable 2007 behind them.
Steve Folkes has reportedly said his future really holds only two options, either retirement from coaching altogether or the possibility of starting afresh, ideally coaching the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Folkes, a passionate family man lives only 20 minutes from his Belmore base and the shift to St George would not add too much time to the journey. Folkes is also a known fitness man and continues to involve himself deeply in training drills with his players – keeping him sharp and focused, and certainly seeming along way off retirement.
The match-up of the Dragons with Steve Folkes is an interesting one. The raw potential of the Dragons has been questioned under rookie coach Nathan Brown – the thought of a more disciplined and hardnosed Dragons under Folkes is certainly something that would strike fear into opposing NRL teams.
Folkes has achieved plenty at the Bulldogs, culminating in a well deserved premiership in 2004; after a long reign a change could be a good thing for coach and club. It seems the quality of the first half of 2008 for the Bulldogs will ultimately determine the future direction for the talented Steve Folkes.