Why Green won't be rushed by the Cowboys

Why Green won't be rushed by the Cowboys

When Paul Green decided to leave the Brisbane Broncos as an assistant coach to take over at Wynnum-Manly in the Intrust Super Cup it was a long, drawn-out process - and he was negotiating with his brother Rick who was the chairman of the club at the time.

Green said "no" to his brother's request to be head coach at first, thought about it again, and the discussions continued.

After a night where several bottles of Rick's finest red were consumed, including a Henschke premium vintage, Paul was still undecided. The next day he rang back and said "yes".

"That was all part of the process," Rick chuckled as he spoke to NRL.com about why his brother would not rush his contract negotiations with the North Queensland Cowboys.

The Cowboys have offered Green a three-year extension on his contract. But chairman Laurence Lancini told The Courier-Mail that unless he accepted the offer soon the club would start negotiating with others.

Paul Green is aware speculation about his deal will continue, but is not commenting on the negotiations until he does sign.

NRL.com understands Green is keen to get the deal resolved sooner rather than later but won't be rushed. He has said in the past he is a thinker who looks at things from every angle before working out the best way forward.

North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green.
North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Green has told NRL.com previously that he wants to stay and the club wants to keep him. He also said what the Cowboys had achieved was just the tip of the iceberg.

"From the public comments he's made, and his behaviour, there's nothing to suggest he wants to go anywhere else," Rick said.

"He's just weighing up all the things that anyone weighs up when they enter a contractual negotiation.

"If he feels like he has still got stuff to achieve, that is going to be one of the fundamental criteria in any of his deliberations.

"Nobody who has looked at what the Cowboys have done would objectively think that he's achieved everything he can."

As for Lancini's ultimatum, Rick said: "People use publicity in all sorts of ways in these sorts of negotiations."

But added his brother would "not be making a move just because of that sort of pressure".

"Paul knows how to deal with pressure and will make a decision that is good and right for him.

"He's aware these things have a process and he's not going to rush."

It was the same when he joined Wynnum-Manly, for less money that he was on at Brisbane, where he led the club to consecutive Intrust Super Cup titles.

"Paul had a real think about it and he had his family to consider. He didn't leave the Broncos lightly," Rick said.

When Green was in the United States in December, NRL.com raised the issue of whispers about the Broncos interest in him but he did not want to buy into it. He's had the opportunity on several occasions to push that agenda if he'd wanted, but has chosen not to.

The idea that Green would, or even could, be manoeuvring to negotiate his next contract to conclude at the end of 2019 to align with that of Wayne Bennett's was described to NRL.com by his manager George Mimis as a "nonsensical concept". 

Ethan Lowe and Jason Taumalolo after the Cowboys win the 2015 grand final.
Ethan Lowe and Jason Taumalolo after the Cowboys win the 2015 grand final. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Brother Rick agrees.

"The proposition he is trying to manipulate a situation so that he has a choice, is foreign to everything I know about how he goes about things," he said.

No-one can predict what Bennett will do at the end of 2019. The 68-year-old himself recently said he was yet to decide whether he would coach into his 70s.

The Broncos have approached Green through a third party, and the interest is understandable. The Broncos are soon to face the prospect of a permanent post-Bennett era for the first time in their history.

While Kevin Walters wants the job and would be a favourite, Green is a Telstra Premiership-winning coach.

The Broncos board, or members of it, are keeping options open to make sure the next coach of the Broncos is long-term and the best they can get.

In Green's first four seasons as head coach, the Cowboys won 67 of 109 games at a strike rate of 61.46 percent, including nine of 14 finals at 64.28 percent.

Craig Bellamy in his first four years at Melbourne had a strike rate of 62.85 percent with 66 wins from 105 games, including five from nine finals at 55.55 percent.

Green won the 2015 premiership and reached the 2017 grand final in those four years, while Bellamy took his side to the 2006 decider.

"Like anyone in this industry - whether you are a player, coach or administrator – if you are very, very good at what you do people are going to be interested in you," Mimis said. 

Green's players often talk about his obsession with fine detail and how the "one-per-centers" are his focus when it comes to their own self-improvement.

Mimis suggested his client had the same approach to this contract, and he speaks from experience.

"I've worked with Paul since the mid-1990s and he is one of the most considered, thorough and analytical people in the game," Mimis told NRL.com.

"With that comes a high level of diligence with everything, whether it be his coaching, whether it be the preparation to his [personal] life or how we approach this contract discussion."

Rick, who has been a sounding board for his brother during negotiations, said there was "a mountain of respect between Paul and the players" and that the squad he had put together and developed would be the one he'd stick with.

"Jake Granville was lucky to get 10 minutes in the NRL at the Broncos, then Paul took him to two grand final wins at Wynnum and then to Townsville and now he is one of the best hookers in the comp," Rick said.

"He’s just one example.  At his heart, Paul is a loyal man and he’s not just going to cut ties off."