Bulldogs halfback Kyle Flanagan reckons when his father – premiership-winning coach turned Fox League pundit Shane Flanagan – gets a chance to commentate a Bulldogs game, there will be no going easy on the young playmaker.
Flanagan snr has been a hit with fans since being added to Fox League's coverage this season with his insightful and straight-shooting comments.
He has mostly resisted making much in the way of public commentary on his son's 36-game career with the Sharks, Roosters and Bulldogs but may not have the choice as the season rolls on.
"I think he's gone through the calendar that got sent out to him and he's got one [Bulldogs] game – and I think it might be against the Roosters to be honest!" Kyle Flanagan told NRL.com.
"I might have to double check on that. He's actually loving doing the stuff with Fox and doing some stuff with 2GB. He says it how it is.
"He really enjoys it, obviously people love to know his knowledge and how he's looking at the game compared to just a normal commentator and he doesn't hold back."
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So will Kyle be telling the old man to take it easy once the stars align, whether that be on the Saturday of round 17 against the Roosters or at any other time?
"For sure, mate!" Flanagan laughed.
"Hopefully I play well that night and don't give him an opportunity to say anything bad about me. He doesn't hold back about me, he just says it how it is."
Flanagan is hopeful of giving not just commentators – relatives or otherwise – but all Bulldogs fans more cause for positivity over the coming weeks after the club got off the duck with their first win of the year against the Sharks in emotional scenes out at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
"There was a sign on the way in [to training on Monday], 'Mr Barrett we believe', so to get the win for him and the club was pretty special," Flanagan said.
"It's not like we expected to lose our first few games. We trained so well in the pre-season, we thought we'd get off to a good start but to get the monkey off the back, we'll take that into Parramatta this week."
Despite having high hopes in the pre-season, Flanagan admitted such a young team with so many changes was always going to take a bit of time to jell.
"For sure. In games we've been showing a lot of energy and tempo, there's a few things that didn't go our way," he added.
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"A few one-on-one missed tackles and scores blew out in the back ends of halves which was quite disappointing … We're a young team, we just have to keep working hard."
A key focus for Flanagan is to continue his development as a game manager and leader, going from playing alongside the likes of Chad Townsend and Luke Keary in his previous seasons to guiding a young spine with Jake Averillo alongside him in the halves.
"When I first came into NRL, then playing for the Roosters last year, I was just focused on doing my job well and focused on my area where this year I'm a dominant player in the team," Flanagan said.
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"I've got to not only do my role well and do it to the best of my ability every week but I've also got to look after the team.
"That's definitely a challenge for me and something I want to keep working on. There was a stage on the weekend where I had to step out of the game and look at what my team needed and that's something I want to work on going forward.
"The boys tend to look at me at stages in the game now. I have to be a leader in the team. I'm only young but that's my role in the team. I have to keep working on that each week and I'm quite enjoying it."
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