No grudge over Dogs captaincy call: ex-skipper Mahoney

Jasper Bruce |

Reed Mahoney has been happy to hand over captaincy duties at Canterbury this season.
Reed Mahoney has been happy to hand over captaincy duties at Canterbury this season.

Cameron Ciraldo was right to name new recruit Stephen Crichton skipper at Canterbury, the club’s deposed co-captain Reed Mahoney says.

Triple premiership winner Crichton did not hold a formal leadership position in his 100 games for Penrith, but was immediately handed the top job on joining the Bulldogs this year.

That left Burton and Mahoney displaced as on-field co-captains after only one year in the job, during which the 15th-placed Bulldogs managed just seven wins from 24 games.

Last season’s club captain Raymond Faitala-Mariner, in charge of off-field culture, has joined St George Illawarra.

Ciraldo praised his newly minted skipper after Saturday’s 32-0 thrashing of Gold Coast, which opened the Bulldogs’ account this season.

“His leadership out there is really crucial to us. A lot of the time I’m sending messages out and he’s already got it covered,” Ciraldo said.

On Monday, Mahoney echoed Ciraldo – saying the coach was right to go in a new direction with the team’s leadership.

“It’s probably the right thing that Cam did. I was happy with the decision,” he said.

“It wasn’t about me, it was about what’s best for the club and what’s best for the team. At the moment, Stephen’s doing a great job.

“The way Stephen is, the person he is and how professional he is, I’d choose him myself.”

Stephen Crichton scores a try for the Bulldogs against the Eels.
Try-scorer Stephen Crichton is already leading from the front for Canterbury. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Mahoney said he remained a leader, albeit in an unofficial capacity.

“It hasn’t really changed the way I go about my business,” he said.

“I don’t step back in meetings or in a group or anything.”

Winger Josh Addo-Carr is a chance to return from his shoulder injury for Canterbury’s traditional Good Friday clash against under-fire South Sydney.

The NSW State of Origin representative has missed the last two games but trained on Monday and could replace utility Connor Tracey on the left wing.

Tracey was unsure whether he would remain in the 17.

“(Addo-Carr) will definitely get that left-wing spot back (if he’s fit), so we’ll see where I fit in after that,” the new recruit said.