Pay day for Dean as Bulldogs choose new coach
DEAN Pay is the new head coach of the Bulldogs.
Pay has been given the job of turning around the Belmore club after winning the role vacated by Des Hasler, who is now pursuing legal action against the Bulldogs over the terms of his dismissal.
The Bulldogs formally interviewed Pay and current assistant coach Jim Dymock for the head coaching role on Tuesday, and the board made the decision to go with Pay, signing him on a two-year deal.
"We are extremely happy to have been able to secure the services of Dean Pay for the next two seasons," chairman Ray Dibb said.
"Dean is a Bulldogs man through and through and someone who totally understands the history and tradition of the club.
"He was an outstanding player with the club and has carried that over into his coaching career, where he has worked under some excellent coaches, as well as showing that he can lead from the front with his superb record with the NSW under-20s side.
"We want to bring back the Bulldogs culture of old and feel strongly that Dean is the man to do this."
Pay will be introduced as the new Bulldogs coach at a media conference on Friday morning.
"It's a tremendous honour to be offered the head coach's role at a club that I loved playing for," Pay said.
"Having learnt under some great coaches I now believe that the time is right for me to step up into the head coach's role.
"The Bulldogs have a great history and tradition and I'm looking forward to the chance to work with a talented group of players, where respect and discipline will be the cornerstones of how we go about our business.
"The club has great foundations, facilities, staff and an incredible fan base. It is important that we work hard to make our supporters proud."
Pay played 108 first-grade games for the Bulldogs and his appointment is seen as a return to cultural roots after Hasler failed to get the side into the playoffs this season.
Hasler had been given a "heads of agreement" contract extension for 2018 earlier this year, only to be sacked after this season finished.
Hasler's lawyers have now launched action in the Supreme Court of NSW in an attempt to win a $1 million payout.
Pay, meanwhile, will leave his post as Canberra Raiders assistant coach immediately and set about attempting to resurrect the Dogs as a premiership force next year.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has praised Pay's appointment.
"I don't think they were going to go far wrong with the two blokes they interviewed," Stuart said.
"Deano and Jimmy are both great mates of mine.
"I am really excited for Dean. He has done a long apprenticeship and a lot of it has been with me.
"The Bulldogs have got a very good person and a very good coach.
"I have been through so much with Deano as a player and as an assistant and I can tell you that the strength of the person is his character.
"His loyalty is a great quality.
"Deano is a very humble guy but I know his competitiveness and I know his personality and rest assured Canterbury will be in good hands."