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'I'm not retiring': Tolman will always be a Bulldog but wants new club

Veteran prop Aiden Tolman believes he's got plenty to offer the NRL and is on the lookout for a new club having been moved on by Canterbury after 10 seasons.

It was a great shame that Tolman was denied an on-field Bulldogs farewell in Saturday's final-round 42-0 loss to minor premiers Penrith at ANZ Stadium because he injured his calf in the warm-up.

But the 31-year-old bookend is determined to keep playing, declaring: "I'm not retiring by any means".

"I'm still hunting for a contract and just the year it's been, I think there's a lot of players in my position. Hopefully over the coming weeks, leading into the pre-season, I get something," he said.

"That's neither here nor there now, I'm more concerned about leaving this club and celebrating the career I've had here."

With a wife and three kids and global uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tolman would much prefer to remain in Australia instead of heading to the UK Super League.

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"I'd never say never to anything, but I'd love to pick up a contract here first," the former Melbourne Storm player said.

Tolman will "consider myself a Bulldog" despite being forced out and wants to see the club return to its former glory.

He hadn't spoken with incoming coach Trent Barrett, who is currently an assistant at the Panthers, about re-signing under his watch.

"He's got other things to concentrate on as well," Tolman said.

"I've got a great relationship with everyone at the club. They've been upfront to me right from the start.

"There are no ill feelings there; that's rugby league and professional sport. Sometimes they haven't got a spot for you in their cap."

As for how much longer he plans to play, Tolman said: "That's a hard question. I'd love to just go another year and then see after that.

"It's up to whether a club wants a player like me. I think everyone knows what I've done over the last 10 years.

"I've been a pretty consistent player."

The renowned toiler was disappointed but accepting of the fact his time at Canterbury had an unfortunate ending due to injury.

"Obviously you'd love to know it's your last game to run out there and have that sort of emotion and everything that goes with it," he said.

"But in saying that, I've had a great career here ... It's hard [to leave after] being here 10 years. The majority of my career has been here.

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"I've had some really good times, I've met some really good people and I leave this place a better person."

Interim Bulldogs coach Steve Georgallis was adamant that Tolman would be an astute acquisition for another NRL side. 

"He's probably been one of our form forwards the last few weeks and he knew then that he was going," Georgallis said.

"You can't let a player like that not play again. I think he's a benefit to any club in helping those younger players, because he's just a workhorse."

Georgallis himself is about to be out of work and remains hopeful of landing a fresh gig as an assistant coach.

But after a draining campaign where he replaced Dean Pay as head coach halfway through and helped the team avoid the wooden spoon, "a cold beer" was the first thing on Georgallis's agenda. 

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