Peter Doust, the Dragons Chief Executive is still hopeful that he can change Bennett’s mind, and he has not given up in attempting to do so.
After guiding the Dragons to a premiership win however, it is believed that Bennett is seeking a new challenge in 2012, and there are plenty of teams lining up to sign him the master-coach.
South Sydney, Canterbury, North Queensland and Newcastle are all interested in securing his services, with Brisbane also a possibility given Bennett’s family ties in the area, as well as the fact that since his departure from the Broncos, Bruno Cullen has stood down as CEO.
The final decision that Bennett reaches will have a knock-on effect for other coaches, as the list grows for those looking to shift clubs, or coach in the NRL once more.
For former Eels and Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, he is believed to be eager to coach once again, with his manager, Jim Banaghan saying, “”He is a career coach; if anyone is looking for a coach he will be there and interested in any opportunities that might come up.”
Former Dragons coach Nathan Brown, is also eager to return to the NRL at some stage, as he is now the coach of the Huddersfield Giants in the ESL.
”Yeah, I’d love to,” he said.
”Like all coaches, you want to coach in the NRL. I’ve had one go at it and I’d like to have another go at it. It’s the best comp in the world.”
The entire knock-on effect of coaches affecting at least 6-7 teams all comes down to the final decision that Bennett comes to.
”We’re obviously keen for him to consider an extension,” Doust said yesterday.
”We’ve had continuing discussions and we’ll communicate in due course. There’s nothing resolved. We haven’t put a time frame on it.”
For player managers, they believe that it is too hard to negotiate with a club, when there are lingering concerns as to whether or not the current coach will remain, or if a new coach will be in charge of the club.
”Players want to know who will be coaching them before they join a club,” one prominent agent said.
”Clubs also don’t want to enter negotiations until they know for certain who their coach will be next year.”