When the Brisbane Broncos appoint the next coach after Wayne Bennett it will be time to make a historic decision and install one of our own.
Kevin Walters is sitting there, ready to go.
He was a major part of building the Broncos culture. He won five grand finals for the club as a player. He is a career coach who has done his apprenticeship. He ticks all the boxes.
We have seen Manly Warringah Sea Eagles appoint former great players like Bob Fulton, Des Hasler and Geoff Toovey as coaches and they either brought premierships to the club or made grand finals.They understood what made Manly tick.
Kevin knows footy. More importantly, he knows Broncos footy. The players respect him and I reckon you will see a turnaround at the Broncos this year with him back as an assistant coach.
He has done well in the Origin arena and he has handled that pressure, with two winning series under his belt.
The QRL wanted Paul Green initially and Kevvie ended up being the second choice. I couldn’t believe that.
People say it isn’’t the same as week-in and week-out coaching, but that whole Origin period is like a full season of NRL when it comes to pressure. In Origin you know the next game you lose you can be out the door, but in the NRL you have a whole season to fix things
I was recently talking to Kevvie and Allan Langer about an important point from their playing days. We all agreed Alf did his thing, but it was Kevvie who ran the show and did the organising. He can do the same from the coach’s box.
Kevvie is an emotional person and takes things to heart, but I am sure he can handle the pressure.
He will get the right people around him to assist him. All coaches do it. Wayne did it back in the day with Bobby Bax and Ron Massey and never hid his mentors from us. Kevvie needs people like that around him.
Wayne is signed until the end of 2019 and I think he should look at ending it there and passing the baton on.
He came back to the Broncos in 2015 and he has been great for the club. He turned around a culture that was faltering.
The powers that be have let him run the show at the Broncos and I think that is OK because the majority of the time he makes the right decisions.
His contribution to the Broncos’ success will stand forever, but you also can’t go on forever.
I believe we should have won in 2015, without being too harsh on Wayne. I am not a coach. Wayne reminds me of that, but I do know the game.
I think the Broncos are at the point where they will soon need a younger, fresher mind in there.
We have all been through it in our careers as players and someone will need to say to him: ”Do you think it is time?”
Hopefully he doesn’t get the tap on the shoulder and chooses to step aside at the end of next year.
We still need Wayne involved at the club because he was part of building that culture, but in another two years it will be Kevin’s time.
If he is the first Broncos player to be appointed as head coach of the club it will be a popular choice and the right one.
Kevin is contracted with the Maroons until the 2020 series but I am sure if the Broncos job became available a year earlier the QRL wouldn’t stand in his way.
Without a doubt, he wants the job. His family is in Brisbane. He lives in Brisbane. He loves the club.
There are always a lot of expectations, but if he comes in as the head coach of the Broncos he will not fail.