Gould says it's time for Bennett to go

Wayne Bennett is contracted to the Broncos until 2019.
Wayne Bennett is contracted to the Broncos until 2019.

BRISBANE should pay out the final year of Wayne Bennett's contract and farewell him at the end of the 2018 season.

That's the belief of Penrith supremo Phil Gould who says the uncertainty around the coaching position at the Broncos could threaten the stability of the playing roster and future recruitment.

Bennett is contracted until the end of 2019, but the Broncos have actively been searching for a potential future replacement.

The club has been knocked back by both Paul Green and Craig Bellamy who have remained at North Queensland and Melbourne respectively, and it appears Bennett now holds the advantage ahead of his meeting with the Broncos board on June 27 where he's set to outline his succession plan.

With the likes of Tevita Pangai Jnr, Corey Oates, Matt Lodge and Korbin Sims off contract at the end of 2018 and Alex Glenn and Joe Ofahengaue off in 2019, it would be in the club's best interest to make a coaching call sooner rather than later, according to Gould.

"I think from the club perspective, for players they're looking to recruit and retain they're going to want to know who the coach is going forward," Gould said..

"And when do you make that announcement? When do you announce who (Brisbane coach) it's going to be?

Broncos captain Darius Boyd and coach Wayne Bennett.
Broncos captain Darius Boyd and coach Wayne Bennett.

"And if they don't want him beyond 2019, then I think now is the time to part ways at the end of the year and give him his swan song, pay him out and let him go the following year."

Seven-time premiership-winning coach Bennett has made no secret of his desire to keep coaching despite turning 69 next year.

"Wayne's got views on what that succession plan might look like," Broncos director Darren Lockyer said recently.

"He's going to present that at the next board meeting. In light of Craig staying in Melbourne, and it was always going to be hard to get him to leave, moving forward there is still a bit of time up our sleeve to decide what we are doing beyond 2019."

Bennett claimed he came up with the idea for Brisbane to approach Bellamy even though he wants to continue holding the Broncos reins.

He also revealed two rival clubs had already approached him but dismissed speculation linking him to Parramatta.