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Trent Barrett resolved his own future as Canterbury manager by stepping down before senior club officials met to decide whether he would survive in the role.
The Dogs are entrenched at the bottom of the NRL ladder with a 2-8 record following their 16-6 loss to Newcastle in the Magic Round opener on Friday night and are eyeing the prospect of their second straight wooden spoon under Barrett .
Club chairman John Khoury was due to meet general manager Phil Gould earlier this week to discuss whether Barrett should continue in the role. Gould, who coached Barrett at the State of Origin arena in NSW in the early 2000s, has been a strong defender of the former Kangaroos Five-Eights and recently said he would coach the team for a long time.
Gould told the players not to bother practicing Monday morning and the team was sent home with instructions not to speak to the waiting media.
Barrett is under contract until the end of next year, but despite an influx of high-priced recruits this year, including Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Tevita Pangai jnr, Brent Naden, Paul Vaughan, Matt Dufty and Braidon Burns, he couldn’t turn the team’s situation around.
Canterbury have Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney at the club next year.
They were last with a 3-21 record last season in Barrett’s first season at the helm after a successful stint as a Penrith assistant under Ivan Cleary.
“I sound like a broken record,” Barrett said after Friday night’s defeat when his side lost to a Newcastle side who had gone seven games without a win.
“It’s the same thing every week and it’s not enough. I think everyone does (need to step up). We just make too many mistakes and make it too difficult for ourselves.
Former Raiders coach David Furner is on Barrett’s staff as an assistant and could be parachuted into the boss role.
The Dogs will face fellow Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval next Friday.
They were supposed to do a press session with the players on Monday morning in Belmore, but it was canceled at the last minute.
There are several former first-year coaches looking for new jobs, including Paul Green, winner of the Premiership of North Queensland in 2015, and Shane Flanagan, Cronulla’s mentor in 2016, winner of the Grand final.
Flanagan’s son Kyle was recalled to NRL side Canterbury in controversial circumstances in the fifth leg but his form was unimpressive as the Dogs were poor at scoring.
Barrett’s previous stint as NRL manager ended in acrimonious circumstances at Manly in 2018 after a dispute with management over the club’s resources.