What the Broncos coaching saga means for Gympie
Rugby League: It will be business as usual for the Gympie Devils despite strong rumours Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett could relinquish his coaching role in favour of Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
The Devils have an affiliation with the Broncos, however Gympie president and former Broncos player Darren Burns said local players will not be affected.
"Broncos board of directors give the approval for the development department. Unless the board want to go in a different direction, a change of the Broncos head coach will not affect the Devils,” Burns said.
"The head coach of the Broncos deals with the rugby league side and the Devils are associated with the development department.”
Burns said the development department's focus was on the value of developing the community.
"The world needs better people not better rugby league players. This is the mantra we live by,” he said.
"It is not just about rugby league, it's about making our youth the best people they can be.”
When asked about the negotiations of the broncos to lure Bellamy on a four-year deal worth more than $5 million - Burns said "Professional sport is now a business.”
"The Broncos have been a successful club and they are planning for the future.
"The timing is not ideal because Bennett is still under contract and Bellamy is off-contract at the end of this season. Regardless, it has not stopped the board.”
In a bombshell development, Fox League revealed on Tuesday the Broncos have been in negotiations with for at least the past month.
The move casts a shadow of uncertainty on the future of seven-time premiership winning coach Bennett, who is contracted to the Broncos until the end of next season.
Fox League has been told the Broncos have discussed Bellamy returning to Red Hill tom take over as early as next season - which could mean Bennett being asked to walk away from the club.
But the exact timing of the of Bellamy's possible appointment to the top job at the Broncos remains unclear.
He could feasibly sit out the 2019 season and then take over when Bennett's contract expires at the end of next season.
Brisbane's largest private shareholder Phil Murphy said he was not aware of any formal approach to Bellamy, but believes he would be an ideal choice to succeed Bennett.
"He is a superstar coach,” Murphy said.
"I haven't heard about Brisbane approaching Bellamy, but if the club moves Wayne on or he decides to go, Craig is the best option on the market.
"If Wayne goes, as a shareholder, I would fully support getting Craig.”
With $12 million sitting in the bank, the Broncos are one of the most powerful clubs in the the NRL and basically have an open chequebook when it comes to signing a head coach.
The Broncos tried to poach Bellamy to replace Dragons-bound Bennett in 2008, only for the deal to collapse.
Ironically, Bellamy started his career at the Broncos in 1998 after being approached by Bennett to take the role as the club's head conditioner.
Bellamy then served five years under Bennett, with the plan always being for Bellamy to one day take control at Red Hill.