Bennett calls for clarity from Broncos on his future
Wayne Bennett has called on Brisbane's hierarchy to make a public declaration of their plans for the club's coaching future beyond 2019 while warning speculation on his future will not go away until they do.
Bennett fronted the media on Wednesday at Broncos HQ where he answered a raft of questions about his future at the club he has coached with distinction for 25 years.
NRL.com understands Bennett has asked for a one-year extension to his deal to coach Brisbane in 2020 but that request has not been granted.
The board is understood to be waiting until the end of the season to make a definitive call but Bennett, who has coached Brisbane to six title wins, remains uncertain whether a seventh premiership would be enough to keep him coaching at the club into his 70s.
Bennett spoke to the board "about a month ago" about his future but said he could not answer whether the board was making plans for what the Broncos coaching landscape would look like post-2019.
He reiterated on several occasions that CEO Paul White and chairman Karl Morris were the ones that should answer those questions. Neither plan to, beyond what White has already said about Bennett being the coach for 2019.
Bennett was asked whether he wanted them to say something to provide clarity for the fans.
"From a personal point of view I do, because I have to come to this [press conference]. I have to come here three times a week and I have to answer these questions all the time," Bennett said.
"They don't have to come to the meetings. They can avoid them and make no comments and all the other stuff that goes with their roles.
"I'm the one that is facing the music."
The Broncos sounded out Craig Bellamy as coach for 2020 before he re-signed with the Melbourne Storm until 2021.
Bennett said speculation about who would be the next Broncos coach would not go away until a decision was made while stating he was uncertain about whether he would be on deck in 2020.
"That remains to be seen. I'm not unconfident. I'm not in a position where I can elaborate on my own future," he said.
"It is someone else's call, and if the chairman and CEO don't want to call then you will just have to all wait.
"I wish the speculation would all go away but it won't go away until we make a decision here.
"I understand that. I'm not sure if anyone else does but I certainly do.
I am just getting on with coaching here. That is what I want to do. My focus is good and the players have been wonderful to work with."
Bennett was asked, if it wasn't him in the role, whether he saw his assistant Jason Demetriou as a future Broncos coach.
"I do. I think he is a really good coach and he does a really good job here," he said.
"I'd have no hesitation in saying that. He is certainly qualified to do a head coaching job, if not here then somewhere else."
Bennett, who is second in winning percentage among coaches apart from Bellamy since returning to the Broncos in 2015, said he intended to coach in 2020.
"There is nothing to suggest to me that I don't," he said.
"Right now that is what I feel. That can change pretty quickly but I right now feel like I want to coach That's what I do. I'm a coach."
When asked if a mooted plan for him to transition into a coaching director role was on the table he said it was "for someone else to discuss".
Quizzed on whether a seventh premiership would save him, Bennett said: "I wouldn't know what would save me".
He said the club was well placed heading into the future with Wednesday's announcement of Jaydn Su'A re-signing coming hot on the heels of the recent six-year deal to lock in fellow young forward Payne Haas and rookie of the year candidate Jamayne Isaako also agreeing to remain with Brisbane.