Bulldogs' Andrew Ryan retires from NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs' Andrew Ryan retires from NRL

By Russell Jackson and Ben Horne 01/08/2011 07:22:05 PM Comments (0)

They don't know who their coach will be next year and now Canterbury don't know who their captain will be either.

Skipper Andrew Ryan announced on Monday he would retire from the NRL at the end of what has been a tumultuous season for the Bulldogs, who sacked their coach Kevin Moore last month and are in danger of missing out on the finals for the second year in a row.

The 32-year-old admits he was disappointed at the axing of Moore, but denied he was forced out of the club.

"I made the decision and Todd (Greenberg) and myself and the club have been open with each other right through the whole process and probably just took a bit of time throughout the year just to decide the time was right. And I definitely feel that time is right now and being able to move into that full-time role (NRL education and welfare), it works out perfectly," he said.

Ryan was adamant Canterbury didn't force his hand.

"Realistically, I was ready to retire and that's the decision I've made and I'm very happy with that decision," he said.

"It wasn't great to see Kevin depart but it was my personal decision and a decision for my family so that had no real impact."

Bulldogs boss Todd Greenberg was full of praise for Ryan who started his captaincy for the club in the best possible way - with a premiership win in 2004 when he took over from the injured Steve Price on grand final day.

"This guy is an ornament not just to our club but to our game," Greenberg said.

NSW State of Origin hooker Michael Ennis is the most likely option to lead the Bulldogs next year but, when asked if they had somebody in mind, Greenberg said: "No, we need to put a coach in before we put a new captain in, so we'll have those discussions over the next couple of months."

"Jimmy's (interim coach Jim Dymock) in the chair at the moment and I've said a few times he's in the box seat. He's got the opportunity in front of him ... we haven't spoken to anybody yet. I haven't interviewed a candidate as yet but I will be over the next couple of weeks."

After 286 first grade games - 219 with the Bulldogs - Ryan said he knew the time was right to call it quits from the game altogether.

Ryan said he talked at length with his wife and long-term friend and team-mate Michael Hodgson and decided to turn down offers from the English Super League and will take up an education and welfare role with the NRL.

The former NSW and Australian Test representative said physically, his body was telling him enough was enough.

"Just then I tried to chase my three year-old out in the hallway and I couldn't catch her so I might just retire now," he said.

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