Folkes hopeful of some brotherly love - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folkes hopeful of some brotherly love

By Steve Jancetic 19/02/2008 07:50:29 PM Comments (0)

Embattled Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes admitted he would be stunned if the men he once called teammates went behind his back to poach Brisbane's Wayne Bennett.

Folkes awoke to newspaper reports claiming the new Bulldogs board were just days away from making an approach to bring Bennett to Belmore in 2009.

Among the new faces voted onto the board at the weekend were former internationals Andrew Farrar and Paul Dunn, who both wore the blue and white of the Bulldogs alongside Folkes in the 1980s.

It's a bond Folkes hopes will ensure he isn't left in the dark as the club weighs up its options for next season.

"I know them all pretty well, I played a lot of games with most of them," Folkes said.

"We'll get on with things - I'll get on with coaching, they'll get on with administering and the players get on with playing."

Asked if he expected to be told of any negotiations with Bennett or any other coach, Folkes said:

"I would think that would be the case.

"It's only speculation that they have approached Wayne Bennett isn't it?"

While obviously not enamoured to read reports that the club would not be re-signing him for next season, Folkes played it down as just part of the cut throat business of NRL coaching.

"Every coach is under pressure to perform," he said.

"I guess there's always going to be speculation whenever there's someone of the quality of Wayne Bennett who's not coaching Brisbane next year and my contract is finishing obviously at then end of this year.

"The decision will be made on how successful we are this year.

"We haven't kicked a ball yet, I think it's fairly ridiculous to be talking about what's going to happen in 09 when 08's not even underway yet."

While the 2008 season may be just under a month away, negotiations with prospective recruits for next season are imminent.

The Bulldogs are believed to have close to $750,000 under the cap for 2009, with the likes of Test winger Israel Folau and Canberra half Todd Carney said to be on their radar.

Coaches generally play a large part in a player's decision, but Folkes denied the instability at the Bulldogs would have much of an impact on player recruitment just yet.

"I don't think there's a lot of negotiations with players in the very early part of the season anyway," Folkes said.

The Bulldogs will finally get a respite from the off-field turmoil which has dogged them this off-season when they take part in their first trial match of the 2008 season against St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium on Saturday night.

Folkes has named a strong squad with Sonny Bill Williams, Reni Maitua and Willie Tonga the notable absentees.

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