They may be in the 2012 NRL grand final, but the Bulldogs will find themselves in a bit of a predicament come the end of the 2013 NRL season, with only 9 players from their top 24 contracted, beyond that year.
It will be some tense moments for the Bulldogs coming into next year, and the changing of the guard has already started – with Jonathan Wright, Tim Browne, Bryson Goodwin, Luke MacDougall, Joel Romelo and David Stagg all either un-contracted, or headed to new clubs in 2013.
Dogs fans will be biting their fingernails, with Greg Eastwood, Dene Halatau, Steve Turner, Trent Hodkinson, Kris Keating, Aiden Tolman, Corey Payne, Josh Reynolds and Frank Pritchard, all free to table offers from rival NRL clubs in a month’s time.
Whilst Reynolds has already had offers on the table, his preference is to remain at the Bulldogs.
“I definitely want to stay,” Reynolds said.
“My focus is on the grand final and that is all I am thinking about, but all that stuff is just around the corner and I would hope the club would want to keep me there.
“Hopefully we can sort something out before the end of the year. I think it is massive for the club to keep these boys together.
“Going forward, we need to stay together. There is massive camaraderie between the boys, not only on the field but off it. There are boys that do things off the field, a guy like Dene Halatau is an example, who does things in the community every day after training.
“That is what sets the standard for a good club.
“I know the Bulldogs are a very smart club and they will make the right call in keeping the boys together for another few years hopefully.”
David Riolo, who is the player agent for 8 of the off-contract Bulldogs players, believes that the club will indeed find it tough to retain their current squad.
“They have a lot of guys coming off at the end of next year,” Riolo said.
“And they will face similar challenges to what the successful teams over the past couple of years.
“All our clients are very happy at the Bulldogs and they are certainly the first preference. There have been some talks, but there is a lot of uncertainty with the salary cap going forward, and the Bulldogs are not the only club with a lot of players coming off.
“I am sure there will be more discussions after the grand final.”