Bulldogs up ante in battle to keep Idris
JAMAL I dris’s f uture i s posied to be decided on his roots, with Canterbury seeking Federal Government support to offer him a role as an Indigenous ambassador.
The Bulldogs face a growing challenge to keep Idris in the face of massive offers from Newcastle and Gold Coast, both of which are likely to exceed what the Belmore club can currently afford under its salary cap.
Both Newcastle and Gold Coast operate in-house Indigenous community arms and have spoken to Idris about additional income he could derive from becoming the face of their programs.
Idris travelled to Newcastle last Tuesday for a three-hour tour of the club’s facilities with Knights coach Rick Stone and recruitment manager Keith Onslow.
Newcastle is understood to have made Idris a rich offer several weeks before his visit, which could be revised upwards should billionaire mining magnate Nathan Tinkler gain control of the club at an Extraordinary General Meeting on March 31.
Gold Coast is also believed to be extremely close to finalising its offer, which could exceed $ 400,000-a-year.
Having returned in top condition from his best-ever preseason, Idris is now the hottest property on the NRL market after posting back-toback individual victories over Australian centre pairi ng Chris Lawrence and Greg I nglis t o open t he premiership.
B u t w i t h h i s o f f - f i e l d manouvres generating as much interest as his slashing form on the paddock, the 20-year-old was again reluctant to speak publicly at yesterday’s Bulldogs’ recovery session.
His manager Sam Ayoub Johnathan Thurston at the Cowboys and Inglis at Melbourne, before the star threequarter was forced to leave the club in the wake of last year’s salary cap scandal.
Another ace up the Bulldogs’ sleeve could be around $ 270,000 in cap space freed-up over the next two years by the termination of prop Ryan Tandy’s contract last week.