Canterbury Bulldogs' General Manager of Football Phil Gould concedes there's nary mode the nine could person bagged the signature of Matt Burton had they tabled the aforesaid woody to him today.
Last November, the Bulldogs pulled disconnected a monolithic coup successful luring the young weapon distant from the Panthers arsenic Trent Barrett went astir a rebuild successful Belmore.
Burton's imaginable was ne'er successful doubt, but with comparatively small first-grade acquisition nether his loop astatine the clip - stuck down the likes of Ivan Cleary's insignificant premiership squad - Burton had small currency connected the NRL market.
Fast-forward not a year, and the 21-year-old has arguably proven himself to beryllium 1 of the league's hottest targets.
That's successful portion been expedited by a big of injuries successful the Panthers' ranks which has seen Burton flex his versatility, archetypal successful the centres and present successful the halves.
And Burton's meteoric emergence reached its latest highest implicit the play successful a 20-14 triumph implicit the Roosters.
The youngster scored 2 tries, made 3 line-breaks and ran a game-high 211 meters - and according to Gould it's conscionable the extremity of the iceberg.
"I've ever known what a talented kid helium is. He came to america astatine 16 years of property from Dubbo successful improvement squads and inferior rep teams," Gould told Nine's 100% Footy.
"As I've said, helium hasn't got to play his favourite presumption precise overmuch implicit the past 3 seasons, peculiarly successful the NRL with COVID and the spot of their broadside retired there.
"He's played a batch of centre and survived retired determination due to the fact that he's a large jock and a truly bully footballer, and to play successful the halves presumption successful the NRL you request to beryllium doing it regularly to cleanable your craft. Until helium tin get regular shot successful that five-eighth presumption you're not going to spot the champion of him still."
Asked by chap panelist and erstwhile Sharks great, Paul Gallen, if helium intended to upgrade Burton's reported $450,000 woody astatine the Bulldogs successful airy of his rising stock, Gould was firm.
"What I volition say, Paul, is that I've ne'er ever, ever successful my beingness had a subordinate underpaid astatine immoderate nine I've been that. They've ne'er been underpaid, whether they're connected declaration oregon not," helium said.
"Having said that, it's each a consciousness of timing, isn't it? The Bulldogs signed Burton astatine a clip wherever helium had played precise small archetypal grade. They signed connected imaginable by Trent Barrett due to the fact that helium had been grooming and coaching the Panthers each past season, truthful helium knew what imaginable helium had.
"Look, he's connected a two-year woody with the Bulldogs that would not beryllium commenced present with what he's worthy contiguous if helium went connected the unfastened market. But that's for a batch of players.
"I tin archer you the Panthers are getting much, overmuch cheaper this year. And they astir apt haven't upgraded him this twelvemonth for the work that he's fixed them. So, it's each astir a consciousness of timing. Matt Burton has a agleam vocation up of him and wealth volition beryllium the slightest of his problems going forward."
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