Kurri Bulldogs player-coach George Ndaira.The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs have been given a massive boost on the eve of their biggest game of the season with the club announcing the re-signing of player-coach George Ndaira for the 2013 season.
Ndaira, a former St George-Illawarra, South Sydney and Newcastle Knights player in an NRL career spanning five years, has agreed to lead the club beyond the 2012 campaign and will look to celebrate with a win over the top of the table Goannas on Saturday.
Kurri secretary Jeff Polglase said the club were delighted to have Ndaira on board next season.
“When we initially signed him we were hoping he’d be a long-term coach,” Polglase said.
“Our goal of stabilising the club with someone of George’s ability and profile has worked for us; he’s happy to stay with us and we’re obviously very happy to have him go round again.”
Ndaira has helped take Kurri from a team on the periphery to genuine premiership contenders with his guidance and experience.
His ability to direct the team around the park, along with his exceptional short-kicking game sees the Bulldogs sit fourth on the competition table, four points behind first placed Cessnock.
Polglase believes Ndaira’s profile has helped retain former NRL players at the club and is happy that local juniors have also been given a chance to shine in first grade.
“We’ve got a competitive team for the fans to come and watch now, we’ve built up our crowd with our Old Boy’s section down in The Shed,” Polglase said.
“George has been in the player market already to add to the players we’ve acquired the last few years.
“We’ve picked up one NRL player a year for the last few years, it started with Abes [Daniel Abraham] then Reegan [Tanner], Jesse [Royal] after him and then George.”
Kurri take on Coalfields rivals Cessnock at the Cessnock Sportsground after the game was transferred from Kurri on Thursday afternoon because of a sewage leak.
The Bulldogs are still without captain and prop Royal with an ankle injury he suffered representing Newcastle, but otherwise can choose from a full strength squad.
Cessnock won the round seven battle between the two teams earlier in the season
24-16 in a game that could have gone either way.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
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