Kevin Walters has a strong understanding of the Brisbane Broncos culture.
Kevin Walters has a strong understanding of the Brisbane Broncos culture.

Broncos players declare: It’s Kevvie’s time

Leading Brisbane players have called for Kevin Walters to be installed as Broncos coach as club bosses prepare to begin formal interviews this week to unearth Anthony Seibold's successor.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the Broncos have fielded 10 applications from prospective candidates, including one from an England-based coach, but the list of contenders will be cut in half for the interview stage.

England national coach Shaun Wane reached the final four for the Cowboys job a fortnight ago, but the Broncos will not take a punt on him or any Super League mentor with no experience in the NRL.

 

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Club favourite Kevin Walters has growing support to take the reins at the Broncos.
Club favourite Kevin Walters has growing support to take the reins at the Broncos.

 

It is understood former Canberra, North Queensland and Titans coach Neil Henry, who was first linked with the Broncos job a decade ago, has also expressed interest in leading a Red Hill revolution.

But ultimately it will take a serious contender to prevail amid the looming battle between Walters and Paul Green, who have secured formal interviews for one of the most pressurised jobs in Australian sport.

Broncos skipper Alex Glenn last week urged club bosses to consider the views of Brisbane's playing group when selecting Seibold's replacement.

Now the push for Walters to finally ascend to his dream job is gathering steam, with Glenn, playmaker Brodie Croft and retiring veteran Darius Boyd backing the Broncos legend to restore Brisbane's glory days.

"'Kevvie' is a winner and someone like him is what we need around the place at the moment," Croft said.

"We need someone to fire up the troops and get them going.

Walters extracted the best form of Broncos pivot Anthony Milford, turning him into a Queensland Origin player. Picture: Getty Images
Walters extracted the best form of Broncos pivot Anthony Milford, turning him into a Queensland Origin player. Picture: Getty Images

 

"If you look at his history at the club, he has won five premierships (as a player) at the Broncos, which is incredible.

"We are aspiring to win one premiership and he did it five times. That certainly speaks for itself.

"He is the Queensland coach at the moment and I've had a fair bit to do with Kevvie's son Billy Walters from our days at the Easts Tigers. Billy is a competitor and a winner and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

"If Kevvie was to come into the club as coach, I would certainly endorse that."

Glenn has not forgotten Walters' role as a key assistant to Wayne Bennett in Brisbane's qualification for the 2015 grand final.

In that season, fellow assistant Steve Kearney presided over Brisbane's defence, while Walters drove the attacking shapes that inspired the career-best form of then halves Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt.

"I've been lucky to have Kevvie coach me in the past," Glenn said.

"I've only had him as an assistant so I can only express what I know through his assistant coaching.

"He was serious when he needed to be, but always liked to have fun at training. That was one of his best attributes.

The Queensland coach is no stranger to silverware, having won Origin crowns and five premierships as a Broncos player.
The Queensland coach is no stranger to silverware, having won Origin crowns and five premierships as a Broncos player.

"He brought out the best in a lot of our players, especially 'Milf' (Milford). Being an ex-half, he has so much experience and has been around the game for so long that he was able to help Milf be at his best in 2015.

"He helped lay the foundations for our club being so successful. He knows what this club means to him.

"His aura around our boys would be huge for our team and club.

Boyd has also worked with Walters in Queensland Origin teams and believes his understanding of Brisbane's culture is critical.

"Kevvie's resume speaks for itself," he said.

"He won five premierships at the Broncos and he's coached at different levels and been an assistant at the Broncos and Melbourne.

"Paul Green has also had great success but if the Broncos went with Kevvie, I'm sure all the fans and everyone in rugby league would get behind him."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Broncos players declare: It's Kevvie's time


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