Trent Barrett has quit as Bulldogs coach effective immediately, the club has confirmed. Canterbury sent out a statement on Monday morning, after Nine’s Danny Weidler reported that Barrett had walked away.
“I understand he quit last night,” Weidler tweeted.
“We would sincerely like to thank Trent for all of his hard work and effort over the past 18 months in what has been a very difficult time for the club,” the Bulldogs’ statement said.
“As this is a challenging time for all parties, the club would like to respect Trent’s privacy and wish him all the best for the future.”
The news brings to a head a storm that was gathering above the under-pressure coach, with the Bulldogs’ board due to assemble for an emergency meeting regarding Barrett’s future on Monday.
That meeting will presumably now focus on who will replace Barrett as an immediate stand-in coach and then a permanent replacement.
According to a News Corp report, Bulldogs players have been left shellshocked by the news and have had their training schedule for the week abandoned.
They were reportedly sent home from training on Monday morning and are not expected to return to duty until Wednesday.
While none of the players have yet spoken to media in the wake of Barrett’s resignation, Weidler reports that former Origin star Paul Vaughan was furious with the gathering media at Belmore, telling them as he drove past that they were “the worst kind of people”.
The Barrett bombshell comes just weeks after Canterbury’s head of football Phil Gould backed him to be the club’s long-term coach.
“He will be the coach at the Bulldogs for a long time as far as I’m concerned. He’s got such a wonderful nature as a coach,” Gould told Nine’s 100% Footy earlier this season.
The Bulldogs finished at the bottom of the ladder last season and currently anchor this season’s competition table on four points, having won two matches in the first 10 rounds.