Defiant Bennett reveals future without Broncos
CALL Wayne Bennett what you like but one thing he has always been is a fighter and in his press conference on Wednesday the super coach made it clear he'd be going out on his own terms.
That may or may not be with the Broncos, with Bennett revealing he wasn't yet ready to start thinking about retirement while he still had the hunger to arrive at work at 5.30 in the morning and leave at 9 o'clock at night.
Bennett was adamant that his approach to a decision on his future would be "club first" but didn't rule out a contract extension to keep him at Red Hill beyond 2019, the last year of his current deal.
That depends on a range of factors.
First, Craig Bellamy has to decide whether to re-sign with Melbourne or take up the Broncos' offer to move north in 2020.
If Bellamy's future is in Brisbane, Bennett will have to decide if the coaching bug inside him is enough for another move away from his home city and the challenge of leading a club without the high-powered resources he has at his disposal at the Broncos.
Already, says Bennett, there is more than one offer on the table and coaching against Bellamy's Broncos into his 70s is a genuine possibility.
His preferred option though, is to sign another contract with the Broncos.
"I will (continue coaching) if I'm in good shape and I'm where I want to be," Bennett said.
"I'm going to make that decision about me. There's no one who will be more honest about me than me.
"There's no one knows me better than me. I've never lied to myself and I'm not going to do it now. It's not going to happen on my watch.
"If I'm being a bit sensitive about it I'm putting the club before me, that's what I've always done and nothing is going to change."
If Brisbane decides the time for a future without Bennett starts in 2020, the seven-time premiership coach is open to all offers that will keep him in the NRL.
A stint in England, however, will not be entertained.
Asked would he coach against the Broncos again, Bennett replied: "Yeah I will ... I don't want to, but if that happens I will consider that.
"I've already had a couple of offers. The door is not closed on me.
"I want to stay (at the Broncos), I want to work here, but also I want to do the best thing by this club.
"I won't coach in England. I'm not interested in coaching in England.
"I love the national team, I love working with those guys, but I'm not going to coach in England.
"I've had a couple (of NRL clubs) call me up in the last couple of weeks.
"They just let you know they're interested and you've got to make a decision on whether you're interested."
Defiant as always and determined to go out on his terms.