Foran focused on delivering for Dogs, not Des

Kieran Foran has vowed to repay the Bulldogs for sticking by him through his horrendous injury run, ruling out any chance of a reunion with his good mate Des Hasler over on the northern beaches.

Foran said he could not be in a better place mentally, having married partner Karina before Christmas, and was excited about a return to five-eighth, the same position he played when he won two premierships with Manly.

Time to deliver: Kieran Foran know he owes the Dogs a big season.Credit:Janie Barrett

The Kiwi pin-up knows more than anyone he needs to give his club some serious bang for their buck after salary-cap pressure squeezed out favourites Moses Mbye and Aaron Woods midway through last season.

Hasler threw good money at Foran to come to Belmore before the coach parted ways with the club. He retains a huge respect for Foran, and would have tried much harder by now to lure Foran back to the Sea Eagles had it not been for the Sea Eagles' own cap woes.

Foran, however, said he owed plenty to Canterbury, where he will collect around $2 million over the next two seasons.

"I'm happy to see 'Dessy' go back there [to Manly] and it will be really good for that club, but there's been nothing there, no chats at all,'' Foran told The Herald. "My focus is here. I had a really disappointing year last season and I want to play some great footy for this footy club.

"They've stood by me. For me it's about putting my best foot forward for this club.

"I'm my own harshest critic. People who know me know that. I know by my standards I wasn't up to scratch last season. Getting injured didn't allow me to find any form at all. And I started very slowly.

"The goal for me now is to get back there and play to my ability for this club and for the guys in this side.''

Foran lasted 12 games for the Bulldogs before he was forced to undergo toe surgery. He had both big toes operated on, as well as wrist surgery, and was fighting fit for day one of pre-season training.

If you look closely enough – and beyond his Noel Cleal-like beard – Foran's smile is back.

"It helps when your life is settled away from the field and you can fully focus on what you need to do each day, and you don't have anything else on your mind,'' Foran said.

"She [Karina] has been huge. I can't describe the positive influence she has had on me. It's been huge. It's the reason why I'm in the place I am at the moment. Hopefully that translates into a big year for myself.'

Foran has been working with Lachie Lewis and new recruit Jack Cogger, with those two to fight it out for the No. 7 jersey – not the No. 6.

"I think 'Deano' [coach Dean Pay] might throw me back into the No. 6 this year, and it will be good,'' Foran said. "I played No. 6 at Manly during those [glory] years. The roles of the No. 6 and No. 7 these days are similar at some clubs but different at others.

"It frees me up if anything. When you're playing closer in to the ruck, your role is slightly different and you need to be able to organise most tackles and direct. For me, you need to look at your strengths as a footballer and what you do well for your side, and I think I know what my best style of footy looks like, and playing that little bit wider will allow me to do that.''

Foran had a lot of time for Lewis, who was one of the positives during a trying year for the Dogs, and Cogger, the 21-year-old Pay pushed hard to lure down the M1 Motorway last year.

If some of the early mail is right, Lewis will get first crack at partnering Foran.

When Pay first arrived at the club, he was given limited time to work with Foran as he recovered from a string of injuries. Pay often joked he was unsure just how many niggles there were.

It's been a different story this summer, however, and Foran said Pay had a much better idea of the sort of style he wanted his players to embrace.

"Last year tested everyone, Deano was a first-year NRL coach and as a side we didn't perform,'' Foran said. "To see the way he's come back in this pre-season and knuckled down and put his own spin on the style of footy he wants us to play, and just being relentless with that, that's the reason why we can hopefully get the results we need to get.

"The way Deano was able to come through a tough period at the club, it will only make us stronger as a group.''

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