Halatau agrees to NRL deal with Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Halatau agrees to NRL deal with Bulldogs

14/08/2009 07:25:11 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg says the NRL club's off-field transformation has given him as much pleasure as their excellent performances on the field this season.

This time last year the Bulldogs were sitting last on the ladder and still reeling from the midnight flit to French rugby by Sonny Bill Williams.

Fast forward 12 months, and the club unveiled West Tigers utility Dene Halatau on Friday as their fourth signing this week for the 2010 season.

The 2005 premiership winner will line up next year alongside St George Illawarra prop Mickey Paea, Cronulla utility Blake Green and exciting Penrith winger Junior Tia Kilifi, who all signed on Thursday.

Greenberg said the club's remarkable recruitment drive is not yet finished and revealed there will almost certainly be another forward joining with Greg Eastwood leaving to take up a contract with Leeds.

"We are delighted where we are on the field, but I said when I came in it was about setting up the club for the long-term future and that means getting it right off the field," Greenberg told AAP.

"I think we can very proud of where we are at now, but there is a lot more to be done."

Greenberg admitted the Bulldogs' reputation as a club full of badly behaved players, who made headlines on both the front and back pages, had made recruiting difficult.

However, going back to the family values that the club were originally built on has proved to be one of the keys to this year's success.

"It was difficult in persuading the likes of Ben Hannant and Michael Ennis to join from Brisbane, but we outlined our vision to them and they bought into it," he said.

"Getting in players of that calibre has helped make us stronger and good players want to play for good teams and that makes us a more attractive proposition to players who we want to sign."

"Fundamentally the club always had very strong values, but the perception from the outside was that it had changed.

"I was very concerned in getting back to what it stood for and making it more open to the media, the fans and the broader public and by and large it has worked."

The signing of Halatau is a big coup for the Bulldogs and a huge blow to the Tigers, and Greenberg is delighted to secure his services.

"Dene Halatau is one of those guys who is not only an enormous talent but brings so much off the field and that is something we always look for and we are delighted to have him," he said.

"We also think Junior Tia-Kilifi as being something very special and Mickey (Paea) will offer us something different in the forwards."

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