Bulldogs marquee recruit Matt Burton has reportedly informed the club he will not take up an option in his favor for the 2024 season.
Bulldogs marquee recruit Matt Burton has reportedly informed the club he will not take up a player option for the 2024 season.
The 22-year-old signed a two-year deal in 2021 with a third year in his favor — but will now be able to test the open market on November 1.
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Former coach Trent Barrett was able to use his Panthers connection to lure the Blues center to Belmore.
But since, Barrett quit his post in May following a string of poor performances in which Burton was the club’s star player.
His form earned him a call-up into Brad Fittler’s NSW side, being picked at center after being named the Dally M Center of the Year in 2021.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Bulldogs’ ability to sign Penrith assistant Cameron Ciraldo is said to be key to securing Burton’s long-term future in Belmore.
Ciraldo is one of the hottest coaching prospects in the competition and is being courted by the Tigers and Bulldogs.
Burton backed Cleary’s understudy to excel if he does join the Canterbury-Bankstown club.
“I personally haven’t heard anything about him coming to Belmore so we will have to wait and see what happens. He’d be great at Canterbury,” Burton said.
“Ciro is an awesome coach. He’s a really smart guy, he’s got a great football brain. He is also a really good communicator, the way he gets his point across and the way he addresses things is clear, that makes it easy to know exactly what your job is.
“I think the best thing about his coaching style is how personal he is with the players.
“He’ll come up to you after training and let you know how you’re going and what areas you need to work on and improve. He can be very meticulous.”
The Tigers have reportedly offered Ciraldo a five-year deal and are waiting to hear his decision in the coming days.
Burton’s future could also be influenced by the wave of recruits joining the Bulldogs in 2023.
Viliame Kikau, Reed Mahoney and Ryan Sutton all land in Belmore next season and if they fire, the talented playmaker may be more likely to remain.
“Haven’t spoken about any of that yet, I don’t think there is a rush … I am just focused on playing good footy … getting the job done on Sunday and playing good footy for the Bulldogs,” Burton said.
“It’s going to be awesome to have Kiks there and Reed next year. They are going to add another dimension to our side, which I am really excited to see what they can do for Canterbury.”
Originally published as Burton set to make big contract call in Dogs blow… but one man could save the day