The Bulldogs have upped the stakes in the signature for boom Sea Eagles fullback William Hopoate, as they have offered the young star, $1 million, over the course of three seasons.

After meeting with the budding junior 10 days ago, the Dogs decided that the only way to sign him, was to go all-in, and show their hand almost immediately.

Despite the offer however, Manly believe that the strong bond the Hopoate family shares in both the community of Manly, and the club itself, is enough to convince Hopoate Jr. to remain with the club.

Todd Greenberg will not be saying anything about the offer itself, just that it has been made to Hopoate.

“We won’t talk about individual contracts or player salaries.

“But I will say we won’t get into a bidding war.

“We’ll pay players on what we think they’re worth.

“There’s an obvious opportunity at the Bulldogs given Jamal Idris will be moving on at the end of 2011.

“We’ve had some discussions and those talks will be on-going over the next couple of weeks. We prefer to do our recruiting behind closed doors.”

With the Hopoate family connection, the Sea Eagles may have found themselves the winning reason to retain Hopoate, as his family live in the Manly area in Narraweena, and attend the Mormon church in the Northern Beaches area, as they are devout Catholics.

Hasler and Hopoate himself, share a rather close bond, and they will need that bond in order to keep Hoppa Jr. at the Manly club for years to come.

“The time frame is as soon as possible for us and Dessie is turning over every stone to make sure we do keep him. I think the whole thing’s in a good space,” Manly chief executive Graham Lowe said.

“There’s a lot of pressure coming from other areas, but we’re confident William’s going to stay. I don’t want us to get bogged down in what other clubs are doing. We can only do what we can do, that’s what we’re focusing on.”

By ricky

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