Sport

Dean's Doggies could play on our doorstep

Newly appointed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL coach Dean Pay speaks at a press conference at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Friday, September 29, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Newly appointed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL coach Dean Pay speaks at a press conference at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Friday, September 29, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING MICK TSIKAS

A PREMIERSHIP-winning Hervey Bay coach's first NRL trial could be played at the Sunshine Coast.

News Corp understands Sunshine Coast Stadium could host two NRL pre-season trials in 2018.

The Bulldogs are likely to play the Raiders on February 17 and the Warriors could tackle the Titans on February 24.

It could be the first time the Bulldogs, who are yet to confirm their pre-season schedule, play under new coach Dean Pay, who led Hervey Bay Seagulls to a premiership in 2001.

Pay's Seagulls included the likes of former Cronulla player Andrew Neave, Paul Gerchow, Adam Roderick and Guy Meredith.

The 48-year-old, who grew up in Dubbo and previously owned the Beach House Hotel, told the Chronicle it shaped as a tough season.

He plans to change the way the Bulldogs played, and to capitalise on the club's "strong nucleus of a very good team".

The first signs of the 'new Bulldogs' could be on display in that trial. For now, Pay is excited to return to the club with whom he won an ARL premiership in 1995.

"There's been a lot of hard work to get to here. I spent a large part of my playing career there so it feels like I'm coming home," Pay said.

"I've had a fairly long apprenticeship to get to this point, but I've enjoyed each and every job."

Sunshine Coast Stadium plans to target regular season fixtures in future.

Topics:  fcsport rugby league