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Barrett the Bulldog: Trent signs on to coach until end of 2023

Trent Barrett has been officially installed as Canterbury's new coach on a three-year deal, but won't start his Belmore rebuild until after he finishes the 2020 season with Penrith.

The Bulldogs are due to make an official announcement on Wednesday afternoon that Barrett will be their next coach after they parted ways with Dean Pay last week.

His assistant Steve Georgallis was installed as caretaker coach and will remain in that position until the end of the season.

It is understood Barrett beat three other NRL coaches to the job. His deal runs until the end of 2023.

While always keen to lock Barrett in as soon as possible to create much-needed stability, the Bulldogs have planned for some time to not have him on deck until October.

Done deal: Barrett to coach Bulldogs from 2021

The Bulldogs also see his job as not just overseeing the NRL squad but all the way down to the under 16s as they want to restore their reputation as a development club.

Barrett's work at Penrith with juniors and fringe first-graders impressed the Canterbury board along with his abilities to generate great attacking and defensive strategies as an NRL coach.

Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill was thrilled to announce the signing of Barrett, who racked up 235 NRL matches as a player, plus 60 for Wigan in the UK while he also represented NSW on 11 occasions and won 15 caps for Australia.

"We have acted swiftly to secure the services of Trent because we believe he is the right man to take our club forward," Hill said.

Panthers assistant coach Trent Barrett.
Panthers assistant coach Trent Barrett. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"Having spoken to Trent on a number of occasions we have been impressed with his vision for the future of our football team and how he will look to develop our players on and off the field.

"Trent has been around the game a long time and has a great knowledge of football and how to bring the best out of players. We all look forward to him joining the Bulldogs family at the end of this season."

Barrett thanked Canterbury for the opportunity in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"I’d like to thank the Canterbury-Bankstown club for appointing me to the position of head coach and for giving me the opportunity to become part of the Bulldogs family," he said.

"The club has a long and proud history of success in rugby league and is a club founded on strong work ethics and family values.

"I look forward to, and am excited by, the challenges ahead in terms of making this club a serious competition force again.

"I would also like to thank the Panthers for their support and understanding. As my job there is not yet done, and out of respect to the Panthers, I will not be making any further comment until the conclusion of the season."

The former Steelers, Dragons and Sharks international's role as assistant has had significant impact on a rejuvenated attack and Penrith's rise to outright first on the ladder.

A similar situation emerged in 2015 when Barrett took on his first head coaching role at Manly while still serving on Ivan Cleary's coaching staff, with Penrith sending him on gardening leave as the situation grew to be a distraction.

Cleary said on the weekend that he was comfortable history would not repeat with Barrett taking on the Canterbury role.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.