4 hours ago
Up. Surely that's the only way for Canterbury in 2011.
Twelve months ago when we were all sitting here pondering the 2010 season ahead, the Bulldogs were in the calculations of most to feature heavily in premiership favouritism. After a sputtering, disappointing start to the season (albeit littered with moments of perfect football), the club never matched those expectations and finished a lowly 13th at the completion of the 26 rounds.
So, why should Doggies fans take inspiration from any of this? What's changed? There are several answers, the most obvious of all their fantastic recruitment drive. The departure of stalwarts Brett Kimmorley and Luke Patten amongst a host of fringe first-graders opened up the door for the club to use the chequebook with full force and they've acquired well. Trent Hodkinson and Kris Keating will add spice to the halves pairing, and keep pressure on players like Ben Roberts and Michael Ennis. Most of all it means they'll have good depth in halves, something they lacked in 2010 and even 2009 when they were at the height of the powers.
The forward pack is another area the club will have drastic changes.