Moses half a chance to be a gamechanger
RUGBY LEAGUE: On the surface, the situation does not look great for budding Bulldogs pivot Moses Mbye.
NSW State of Origin halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds are ahead of him and his club is in the market for Manly playmaker Kieran Foran.
But Canterbury chief executive Raelene Castle is backing the former Noosa Pirate to develop into a difference-maker under premiership-winning coach Des Hasler.
"He is an enormous talent and that we are really pleased to have secured for the next couple for years," Castle said. "He is a young, smart footballer who is really articulate and we know he will be a really big asset to the Bulldogs."
Mbye has established himself as one of the game's top young prospects since signing a three-year-deal with Canterbury in 2014.
He played nine NRL games last year and did not look out of place at the top level, but faces stiff competition for a spot in Canterbury's halves.
Most of his opportunities came while Hodkinson and Reynolds were on Origin duty as well as running out when Reynolds was suspended late in the season.
But his defining moment of 2014 came when he was named at hooker for last year's grand final.
He replaced captain Michael Ennis who was forced to withdraw with a foot injury. The 21-year-old was superb in the Bulldogs 30-6 loss to the Rabbitohs and showed Castle enough to regard the talented half as a star of the future.
Mbye has previously told the Daily that he views his football aspirations as "every man for himself", indicating his intentions to claim a place in the starting team, no matter who is in front of him.
Castle said her club was fortunate to have a back-up in the halves as strong as Mbye who continued to remind Hodkinson and Reynolds that he was more than capable of taking their places should they drop in form.
"He has to push his way into that starting line-up but he has that utility nature to be able to play across the halves and at hooker as well which makes him really valuable as well," she said.
"He's making sure those halves are really honest in their performances."
Canterbury was in the mix for a feeder arrangement with the Falcons last year but the Coast side opted for a three-year deal with the Storm. Castle said the Bulldogs still viewed the Coast as a rich talent pool.
"There has been lots of quality footballers come out of this part of Australia and we have recruitment people here trawling through the juniors trying to find the next star," she said.