Clashing club colours won’t split these mates
FROM a new coach to a new board, Canterbury endured a significant overhaul during the off-season in a bid to return to the days of the 'Dogs of War'.
They even let go of one of the club's favourite sons in Josh Reynolds.
But while Reynolds is now physically eight kilometres across town at Concord, his spirit remains at Belmore.
His fingerprints all over the halves combination he was a linchpin of for the best part of eight years.
How? Through his former teammate Matt Frawley.
Frawley, who lives with Reynolds in Cronulla, revealed the former Bulldog has been giving him advice this season.
"I'm lucky, he's an awesome player, achieved a lot of things, he's played Origin and in grand finals so he's had a lot experience," Frawley said.
"Especially here at the club, he knows the ins and outs and how it all works.
"He comes to me for advice, I go to him for advice … it's good to get it out in the open when you're at home.
"He's got a lot of good friends here … you're never going to lose that connection, whether he moved clubs or not."
Reynolds has only played 27 minutes in Wests colours this year after the start of his season was cruelled with injury.
As fate would have it, Reynolds is slated to make his return from a fractured scapula against his old side on Sunday afternoon.
Reynolds reluctantly walked away from his beloved Berries to take-up an offer he couldn't refuse from the Tigers.
But his time at Concord is also proving fruitful for the Bulldogs. Frawley also revealed Reynolds was sharing the footy knowledge he is picking up under coach Ivan Cleary.
"Obviously being at another club too he can sort of give me a few lessons ... he's learned a lot from here but now he's learning other lessons from other people at other clubs," he said.
"So we are always bouncing ideas of each other, whether it be footy or non footy stuff.
"He's a really important aspect to my footy and my life.
The Cooma junior trained all preseason in the halves alongside star recruit Kieran Foran.
But after a losing start, coach Dean Pay axed Frawley from the NRL side.
Pay felt like the his young five-eighth wasn't taking the line on enough and was struggling to dominate in games.
He was recalled into starting side in round 10.
Frawley says Reynolds helped guide him through that tough period.
"Grub's [Reynolds] pretty good. He doesn't give me too much specific stuff, more just being there as a mate," he said.
"He believes in my football ability, he just gives me confidence.
"He tells me to go out there and back my ability and feel like you belong in first grade,
because I think that's sometimes the battle, is having that confidence going into games. "Especially when you do get dropped back you have doubts.
"I'm lucky to have a really good support base with Grub, with my family and boys around here."