Why Kevin Walters and Wayne Bennett are disastrous choices for Brisbane Broncos
He’s the man who put Anthony Milford on $1 million, Jack Bird on $975,000 and Darius Boyd on $800,000. While getting Wayne Bennett back to the Broncos is romantic – it could lead to another salary cap disaster.
Phil Rothfield , The Daily Telegraph
September 14, 2020 12:22pm
NRL: Broncos stalwart Darius Boyd says he would welcome legendary coach Wayne Bennett back to the club and also shares his thoughts on Kevin Walters and Paul Green.
NRL coaching appointments made on emotion don’t always work.
Rugby league has lots of stories to back that up.
Remember Freddy Fittler at the Sydney Roosters. He got the job in 2007 because he was such a cherished figure at the club.
Freddy has since proven himself a great State of Origin coach with the NSW Blues but it didn’t work out at the Roosters with the 24/7 year-long responsibility of managing salary caps, game plans, players’ lives and media.
Wayne Bennett and Kevin Walters are the sentimental favourites. Picture: Darren England
It’s happened elsewhere too. Dean Pay was an emotional appointment at the Canterbury Bulldogs. A much loved old boy.
The club needed a feel good story after a couple of tough years under Des Hasler.
He got sacked earlier this year.
Balmain’s favourite son Wayne Pearce at the Wests Tigers coached three years for a 36 per cent win record.
Dean Pay (left) was sacked earlier this season. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett
The great Mick Cronin had three years at Parramatta for only a 38 per cent.
Like Pearce, a club icon and lovely bloke but struggled with a clipboard.
Now this brings us to the point of this column.
Kevin Walters at the Brisbane Broncos and, to a lesser extent, Wayne Bennett.
Now, Kevvie is a club legend, a great old five-eighth who won six premierships.
He is the popular and emotional choice with the old boys.
Mick Cronin had a horror win percentage at the Eels.
Brad Fittler didn’t last long as Roosters coach.
Yet old boys don’t have to answer to shareholders, fans members or sponsors.
It’s all talk, no responsibility.
Kevvie has done a nice job with the Queensland State of Origin team but that doesn’t make him a great club coach.
They are totally different gigs. Craig Bellamy is one of the finest club coaches in the history of the game but could hardly win a game with the NSW Blues.
Kevvie is untried at club level.
He’s fun to be around in a six-week camp situation and he’s got a great personality that comes across every weekend in his Fox Sports commentary roles.
But he’s a gamble. There is so much more involved in being in charge at a club.
The Broncos are not like any old footy organisation. They are a publicly listed company.
The pressure to win and run a strong business is more demanding than any other franchise.
This is where we need to discuss old Wayne Bennett as well.
It’s a romantic story for him to head back home to where he won six premierships.
The usual suspects are pushing it and a player manager has approached the Broncos on his behalf.
Paul Green is the smart choice for the Broncos job. Picture: Alix Sweeney
But so much damage was done in the manner in which he left last time.
And how he put Anthony Milford on $1 million, Jack Bird on $975,000 and Darius Boyd on $800,000.
Do you really want him in charge of the salary cap as a director of football?
The safe option is Paul Green.
He made two grand final appearances and won a premiership in seven years at the Cowboys and had a 52 per cent win record.
No emotion but a proven winner. And that’s what matters.