Why Steve Price wants to return to the Bulldogs
Former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs captain Steve Price believes he can be a conduit between the board and the club's players if elected as a director at the upcoming AGM.
Price, who was the captain of the last Bulldogs team to win a premiership in 2004 but missed the grand final due to injury, is a member of the Reform ticket led by Lynne Anderson, which also includes former coach Chris Anderson and ex-Canterbury Leagues Club boss John Ballesty.
The former Test and State of Origin prop played 222 NRL games for the Bulldogs and wants to restore the standing the club had during his 11 seasons at Belmore as one of the best in Australia sport.
Touted as a future NRL or club CEO during his playing career, Price bought a supermarket in New Zealand after retiring from the Warriors in 2009 and he said his time away from the game had given him a fan's perspective of the club and the game.
Price, who shifted home to Australia last September, also has a close relationship with new Bulldogs coach Dean Pay, who was a former teammate, and believes he can draw on his on-field experience to help the club's players.
"Whilst I have been in New Zealand for the past 13 years, I am a life member of the club and the Bulldogs pretty much made me who I am today," Price told NRL.com.
"Other than my parents the club probably had the biggest impact on who I became as an adult.
"I went there as an 18-year-old straight out of school and I left as a married man with three kids. It has always been a special, special place to me so when the opportunity came up I thought it would be a great way to get back involved.
"My mum always said if you've got an issue with something there is no use whingeing about it; get in and do something about it."
Price said each of the seven members of the Reform ticket offered different skills, while they all had a long association with Bulldogs.
Lynne Anderson, the daughter of former Bulldogs supremo Peter Moore, is CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee, Chris Anderson won premierships as a coach and player, Ballesty and Paul Dunn are former players, and John Khoury and Nick Dimmas have previously been on the board.
Price, who works for Westfund as a commercial business development manager, recently completed a board of directors course.
"The players are one of our key stakeholders so it is good to have someone who understands how the players are feeling and who is able to talk to them when they are going through a rough time, whether it is in person or on the end of the phone," he said.
"I was lucky enough to have someone like Dean Pay or Terry Lamb to help me out and give me advice when I was coming through.
"Dean was probably the best. I was homesick and I wanted to go home and he had been through that and had actually gone home so when he spoke to me he gave me a different perspective to how I was thinking at the time because he had gone through it."
Despite living in Queensland, Price said he would be in Sydney regularly as he has a season ticket to watch daughter Jamie-Lee play netball for GWS Giants and had already determined he could attend Bulldogs matches the same weekend as there is only one scheduling clash.
As for board meetings, he said: "I will be making sure I am down there as much as I need to be and if I can't be there physically, technology has made the world smaller these days.
"I understand, particularly having done the directors course, the responsibilities you have to be at those meetings to be across what is going on because you are a part of the decision making."
While he believes there needs to be changes at board level, Price said he was optimistic about how the Bulldogs would perform under Pay.
"I think it is exciting times for the club and Deano is doing a good job," he said. "I think he is going to be awesome.
"It is not very hard to understand what he wants from you and if you earn his respect and keep performing you will have it forever."