‘We’re not poles apart’: Bennett’s big Panthers hint
BRISBANE supercoach Wayne Bennett has left the door wide open for a shock move to Penrith, claiming he and Panthers supremo Phil Gould share a solid relationship and could work well together at the same club.
Speculation continues at Panthers Stadium as Penrith fans patiently wait to hear who will lead the team into the 2019 NRL season.
Many names have been brought forward since the bizarrely-timed sacking of Anthony Griffin on Monday, but none more powerful than Bennett.
Bennett was asked about his opinion on the sacking of Griffin and admitted he was sympathetic to his peer.
"Probably with four games to go, yeah, that's pretty tough.That's their decision, nothing to do with me," he said.
Bennett is contracted to Brisbane for the 2019 season but the club's hierarchy could terminate him when they convene in October to make a decision on the coach's future.
Bennett wants to stay, but Brisbane are seemingly hot and cold on the idea and are deciding to sit on the decision until the end of the season.
If the Queensland club doesn't want him Bennett is open to the idea of coaching a rival NRL club.
He's been linked to various jobs, and Penrith is the latest.
"The way you guys (the media) are going at the moment I'm coaching Penrith on Monday, Broncos on Tuesday, Tigers on Wednesday, and probably the Titans on Thursday," Bennett said.
"I've only got one day off and that's Friday."
But Bennett denied he had been contacted, or had contacted the Panthers since Griffin's sacking was made public on Monday.
Gould claimed he had 12 applications on his desk by the following morning.
"No I haven't (heard from Penrith)," Bennett said. "I'm really over the coaching saga altogether ... (the Broncos will) make a decision here in October, the board will make their decision.
"I want to be at the Broncos, I want to continue coaching, everyone knows that.
"Let's see where it all goes."
The big question moving forward is could Bennett and Gould work together?
They are two of the game's biggest personalities and most influential figures. Bennett claims he shares a good relationship with Gould and believes they could work side by side.
"I've got to know Phil over the years,(our relationship is) good, his company is good," he said.
"He's got a good football head on him.
"We're not poles apart about how we think about the game and how the game should be played.
We were competitors for a long time as coaches but we've both moved on from that."
The idea of the two working together is truly polarising with both men being recognised as coaching icons of the game.
Can two NRL strategic masterminds work together or is it a case of too many chefs?
As Wayne said; "Let's get to October and we'll see what happens after that".