Klemmer not letting club turmoil affect his form
David Klemmer is no wallflower – he couldn't be if he tried.
A 116kg frame stacked 196cms high pretty much ensures that. He stands out wherever he goes. But when he's on the field he is impossible to miss for a different reason.
This year the Bulldogs have had it incredibly tough. They're grappling with salary cap problems, injuries and a severe crisis of confidence. If they manage to beat Gold Coast at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday, it will be just their fourth win of the season.
That's why it means so much that Klemmer, the 24-year-old Australia and New South Wales powerhouse, has thrown his faith behind the club at such a difficult period.
It is clear that the Bulldogs need to rebalance their salary cap for next season and beyond, and at the start of the year, Klemmer's name was thrown up as a potential player to be shifted.
But he would not budge – although he would have had no problem attracting a big money offer. Most likely more than he is making at the Bulldogs.
In the meantime, fullback Moses Mbye has signed a four-year deal with the Wests Tigers from 2019, although with the June 30 deadline for mid-season transfers fast approaching, it could happen sooner than expected.
It's believed Klemmer's best friend and front row partner Aaron Woods is also set to leave the club, despite having only joined at the beginning of the 2018 season.
But while all of this turmoil is happening around him, Klemmer has remained strong. He has played his past five games from the bench but is still churning out numbers on par with the best in the competition.
He hasn't missed a beat. He is ranked third for hit-ups this season on 236 behind Blake Ferguson (281) and Jason Taumalolo (240). He's also fourth for total running metres from only 13 games, and averages 177 metres per game.
But what the numbers don't tell you is the passion he shows for the Bulldogs jersey every time he pulls it on. There is no data for it and it can't be measured, but it's the one thing that matters most to NRL fans.
They want to see that their players care just as much about the team as they do. And above anything else, that's the biggest thing Klemmer can do for the Bulldogs in 2018.
In Big League this week, he speaks about how heartbreaking this season has been, why he isn't giving up hope the team can turn it around, and why he wants to remain a Bulldog for life if they let him.