Kevvie’s first interview: ‘I never gave up on Broncos dream’

 

"I never gave up hope."

With those words, Kevin Walters has broken his silence on clinching the Brisbane job and has outlined his plan to bring the premiership glory days back to his beloved Broncos.

In his first interview since being appointed Brisbane coach, Walters says the devastation of losing out to Anthony Seibold two years ago could not break his spirit in his burning ambition to one day lead the Broncos.

Now, Walters' time has come.

News Corp can reveal Walters officially signed with the Broncos at 10pm last night. He has inked a two-year, $1 million contract to remain at the Broncos until the end of 2022 and Walters also backed plans for Storm super coach Craig Bellamy to eventually join him at Red Hill.

New Broncos coach Kevin Walters.
New Broncos coach Kevin Walters.


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In the process of inking the deal, Walters confirmed he has resigned as Queensland Origin coach, texting Maroons players last night to inform them of his impending departure.

The Broncos will announce Walters' signing this afternoon with 'Kevvie' declaring he always had faith he would ascend to the Red Hill throne.

"I am so thrilled," he said.

"This is something I have been working towards for 20 years, since I finished playing in 2001. I wanted to one day be the head coach of the Broncos and now I've got it, it's in front of me.

"I always chased the dream and now the dream is here, I have to make it a reality.

"I never gave up hope of coaching the Broncos. I always believed in myself and the direction I was taking my coaching career. I always believed I would end up at the Broncos and now the time has arrived.

"I'm very grateful for the chance and the plan now is to deliver a premiership.

"We have a lot of work to do."

As part of Walters' Broncos coronation, he will reluctantly sever ties with the Maroons outfit he has coached for the past four campaigns.

The process will be gradual, with Walters to assist Queensland's preparation for the next fortnight before handing the reins to either Wayne Bennett, Paul Green or Mal Meninga.

"I'm disappointed, hugely disappointed," he said of his decision to stand down from the Maroons.


"I love Queensland and I'm getting emotional just thinking about standing down.

"My love for that Queensland jumper will always remain in that arena. All the players know. I texted them last night. It's really hard to be walking away.

"I wanted to do more series, not just this year.

"Both the QRL and the Broncos board feel it's in the best interests of both parties that I don't do both jobs.

"We have put a lot of time and work into the players and I see it as my role and responsibility towards Queensland into the series. Queensland will select a new coach as such for the series, but I want to assist them and help them in every way that is possible.

"I don't know my exact role. We haven't progressed that far, it depends on the incoming coach and I will support him in any way he wants me to.

It’s been a long and emotional journey for Kevin Walters at the Broncos.
It’s been a long and emotional journey for Kevin Walters at the Broncos.


"There will be a transitional period over the next month into the series. Once the QRL get their person and who they want, that's when I'll start working with them.

"Whatever they need from me, I am happy to give them any assistance."

The Broncos are in talks to bring Bellamy to the club as Walters' coaching director from 2022.

As revealed by News Corp, Brisbane have discussed a deal of five-to-10 years with Bellamy and Walters says he would have no issue forming an alliance with his mate of 30 years.

"I don't have any problem working with Craig at all," he said.

"We have known each other a long time, we have great respect for each other and there is no dramas at all if Craig comes on board.

"I don't want to talk too much about 'Bellyache', he has a finals series to win with the Storm. I will let him focus on that, but the good thing is I will be coaching the Broncos for the next two years which I am really happy about."

QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher is thrilled with Walters' rise to the Broncos coaching post.

"I've always felt Kevin was the right man to replace Wayne Bennett at the Broncos and I felt that way two years ago," he said.

"Hopefully Kevin can play some part for us in this Origin series because he has great passion and knowledge about what we do."

Originally published as Kevvie's first interview: 'I never gave up on Broncos dream'


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