Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
"The last few days have been extremely disappointing and I fully endorse the unreserved apology that Bulldogs management have made to fans. From a football perspective our foremost priority is to prepare for our game on Sunday in Canberra against the Raiders.
I would like to make it clear that there have been many inaccuracies in the past few days particularly in relation to player salaries and those inaccuracies have brought great embarrassment to all individuals, particularly Braith Anasta who is feeling the brunt of the media focus.
At the beginning of the year we weren't rated highly by many experts as we started the competition at 15-1 outsiders. For the past 24 weeks I've watched a team grow in confidence and resolve. They've moved to the top of the table through sheer hard work and through a fantastic team spirit. Above all that, their desire to succeed has been a major factor in where we sit on the ladder.
Over the past three years we've farewelled great players and club men like Craig Polla-Mounter, Darren Britt, Barry Ward, Troy Stone, Daryl Halligan, Rod Silva, Ricky Stuart, Bradley Clyde, Jason Hetherington, Adam Peek, David Thompson and Robert Relf and it's a great tribute to our development programme that previously unknown players like Brent Sherwin, Braith Anasta, Jamie Feeney, Willie Mason, Matt Utai, Corey Hughes, Ben Harris, Glen Hall, Jonathan Thurston and Todd Polglase have risen to become major players in the game.
The players have every right to feel proud of what they have achieved this season and as far as I am concerned that remains untarnished by everything else that has happened."