Matt Burton linked with Bulldogs exit but Cameron Ciraldo arrival could change his mind

Michael Holland
Matt Burton Canterbury Bulldogs PA

Matt Burton is reported to have told the Canterbury Bulldogs that he will not take up the option to stay in 2024, but Cameron Ciraldo arriving at Belmore could change his mind.

Burton has caught the eye for the Bulldogs this season after making the switch from Penrith. Despite a disappointing season for the Bulldogs, Burton has been one of the bright sparks.

His form has seen him earn his first call up to the New South Wales State of Origin squad. Burton is set to take his place at left centre when the Blues face Queensland in Perth on Sunday.

He will make his debut amid reports that he will look to leave the Bulldogs at the end of 2023. Burton signed a two-year deal with the option of a third year in his favour.

Reports in the Daily Telegraph claim that Burton has no intention of taking up that option. It means he is technically off contract at the end of 2023 and will be able to accept contracts from elsewhere from 1st November this year.

It is only rumour at this stage but it seems as though Burton is weighing up his future.

One thing that may prevent him from moving on could be the appointment of Cameron Ciraldo as coach. Burton knows Ciraldo well from his time at Penrith where Ciraldo is still assistant coach to Ivan Cleary.

Burton has spoken in glowing terms of Ciraldo. And the chance to work with him again could result in Burton having a change of heart over the contract extension.

Ciraldo is wanted by both the Bulldogs and Tigers but has yet to make a decision on his future. It remains to be seen where he will end up but Burton hopes it is Belmore.

Matt Burton hails Ciraldo influence

“I personally haven’t heard anything about him coming to Belmore so we will have to wait and see what happens. He’d be great at Canterbury,” Burton told the Daily Telegraph.

“Ciro is an awesome coach. He’s a really smart guy, he’s got a great football brain. He is also a really good communicator, the way he gets his point across and the way he addresses things is clear, that makes it easy to know exactly what your job is.

“I think the best thing about his coaching style is how personal he is with the players.

“He’ll come up to you after training and let you know how you’re going and what areas you need to work on and improve. He can be very meticulous.”