Broncos mentor Wayne Bennett said he has no plans of retiring and wants to continue his coaching career in 2020.
The super coach is contracted at Brisbane next season but his future beyond that is clouded, while Broncos CEO Paul White has admitted to not being on the same page as Bennett at times due to speculation over the coaching position.
White has reportedly privately pushed Bennett to retire at the end of 2019 behind closed doors to move into a senior administrator job at the club.
But Bennett still has a fire in the belly to carry the clipboard, looming likely that he will exit the club to coach elsewhere in 2020.
“There are two things I’m clear on,” Bennett told The Sunday Mail.
“One is that I’ll coach the Broncos in 2019 and the other is that I will continue to coach.
“If it’s not at the Broncos, it will be somewhere else in the NRL.”
The Broncos rejected Bennett’s request for a 12-month extension, who believes he is capable of coaching for another four years, which would take him to the age of 72.
White admitted to his relationship growing strained with Bennett.
“Absolutely, in any long-term friendships you go through tough times.
“I know the headlines were ‘Cold War’ and I don’t want to be involved in one of those.
“I’ve known Wayne 34 years, he’s been a wonderful friend of mine and been a big influence on my life. I don’t want to burn a friendship that has been there for a period of time.
“The only thing Wayne has said to me is always be honest. I am being honest with Wayne and we will be able to move on. We are very professional in terms of our relationship.
“He has a job to do. I have a job to do and we are here to serve the club.
“I don’t want to burn a friendship but equally I don’t want to not do my job.”
Broncos legend Petero Civonicev believes the rest of the season will have a major impact on Bennett’s future.
“A lot will hinge on how the Broncos finish this season,” he said.
“If they go all the way this year, it will be hard to move Wayne on, you wouldn’t get a better endorsement in prolonging his career at the Broncos than a premiership.
“There’s a decision that has to be made and I have confidence in the Broncos board to get it right.”