Bulldogs recruit Kyle Flanagan says he was left “empty” when the Roosters blindsided him in a one-on-one interview to inform him they would be cutting his time in Bondi short.
Flanagan was snapped up by Trent Barrett’s Bulldogs after the Roosters officially lodged paperwork with the NRL on Monday to terminate Flanagan’s contract.
It was a brutal axing of one of the highest point-scorers this season that for better or worse demonstrates the professional standards the league’s heavyweights hold themselves to.
The 22-year-old had joined Trent Robinson’s back-to-back former premiers ahead of the 2020 season, touted as a future replacement for veteran playmaker Cooper Cronk.
Just weeks ago, he felt the heat of the NRL microscope when he was harshly blamed for a finals loss against the Raiders that ended the Roosters’ dreams of a premiership three-peat.
Just days later, the Bondi club embarked on a season review including a tough look at their roster, when Flanagan was caught by surprise when he was informed his services were no longer needed.
The youngster said he felt “empty” and completely at a loss when Robinson informed him his time with the Tricolours had come to an end.
“I was a bit shocked and disappointed to walk in and hear the news that the club was going to go in a different direction next year,” Flanagan told Nine’s Danny Weidler.
“It was definitely a shock. I just sat down and waited to hear my feedback on what I wanted to improve on, going into next season and it definitely caught me off guard. It was a tough conversation.
“I was quite empty, you know. We played on the Friday and I think the meeting was on the Tuesday. I put my heart and soul into that season last year and every time I ran on the football field I pride myself with playing well. I thought I was tracking quite well for my first season in first grade.
“It’s never good seeing your face on the back page of the paper saying you’re not wanted by a club but I’ve got a really good support group around me, the old man is really good.
“But I like to challenge myself, I’m a positive person, this isn’t going to stop me it’s only going to motivate me. I’m thankful for the Bulldogs to give me this opportunity, bring it on.”
Flanagan has signed with the Bulldogs on a three-year deal reportedly worth around the million-dollar mark.
His presence will be a huge shot in the arm for the franchise thinning playmaking stocks.
Gus’ defence of young Flanagan
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