Bennett on Souths, minimising distraction for Dolphins

Published 11:36am 3 May 2024

Bennett on Souths, minimising distraction for Dolphins
Words by Kylie Knight

Dolphins NRL Head Coach Wayne Bennett won’t rush a decision about his coaching future, but is determined to end speculation as quickly as he can to minimise disruption his players.

Bennett confirmed, regardless of the outcome of discussions with South Sydney, he will be leaving Redcliffe at the end of this season as planned.

A Dolphins NRL Club spokesman said no offer had been made for Bennett to stay on in a ‘football director’ type of role, and the plan had always been for him to move on at the end of the 2024 season if he still wanted to be a Head Coach.

Bennett said he felt he still had plenty to offer as a Head Coach and was keen to speak with Souths next week, after an initial phone conversation this week.

There is no formal offer in front of him at this stage.

“I’m going to be unemployed at the end of the year. I need a job,” Bennett said.

“If I didn’t think I had something to offer, and I didn’t want to do, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t have to do but that’s not the case with me.

“I’d rather be doing something than not making a contribution. I care about the game enormously and its people and if I can go and help a club and make them better then that’s what motivates me and drives me.”

As for talk about Parramatta being interested in Bennett …

“I don’t know anything about Parramatta. I don’t know where that’s coming from,” the Super Coach said.

Bennett on Souths, minimising distraction for Dolphins

Media frenzy

The media circus surrounding Bennett’s next move could be a distraction for the Dolphins if negotiations are protracted.

“I told the players on Monday or Tuesday what was going on, what had happened because I knew it doesn’t work not talking to them and not telling them what’s going on,” Bennett said.

“They all come from other clubs here so they understand but I want to get it out of the road as quick as I can so we can all move on and there is no more distraction.

“We’re focused on the game. We’re all fine. I can’t tell them any more because I don’t know any more.

“They will be the first people to know when it happens, if it happens, whether I’m going or I’m staying. My commitment is to finish here at the end of September and that’s the business we’re in. I’ll make sure there’s no more distraction once the decision’s been made.”

In the meantime, Bennett and his squad need to focus on playing the Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday (7.35pm).

He confirmed the 17 players listed on Tuesday will be playing against the Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday, including Captain Jesse Bromwich.

Bennett is looking for a stronger performance from his side who lost 18-14 to the Newcastle Knights in round eight.

“We made seven errors at the 20-minute mark the other day. That gave Newcastle opportunities and field position that put us under a lot of pressure. It was wonderful the way we fought back,” Bennett said.

“We’ve got to execute and be brave enough to take the Cowboys on and not sit back and be passive, waiting for something to happen.”

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