Jamie Soward, Dragons five-eighth said that if current coach Wayne Bennett was to leave at season’s end, it would be a massive blow to both the team and the Dragons organisation, but he has ruled out any possible destabilisation of the club, as a result of the constant rumours.
Soward remains adamant that all of the persistent rumours and innuendo surrounding Bennett’s departure, will not affect the Dragons from playing to the level they are capable of.
If reports over the weekend were to be believed, then Bennett has already made up his mind, and is set on leaving the club, with a later statement made by the Dragons themselves counter-punching those claims.
“Wayne’s obviously off contract this year and I’m sure he’ll let the playing group know at the appropriate time what’s going on with his future,” Soward told reporters on Monday.
“In saying that, it’s not going to affect our performance this year, whether he stays or goes.
“We’d love him to stay but if he decides to go, then it’s his decision and we’ll respect that.”
Asked about the effect Bennett’s departure would have on the joint venture club, Soward didn’t mince his words: “It’d be a massive blow.
“Down there he’s regarded as a god to the Dragons fans, much like he was in Brisbane.”
With the guidance of Bennett for the last two years, the Dragons have grown as a team, and for Soward in particular, having a mentor such as Bennett has resulted in Soward improving over the last few years in leaps and bounds.
“Wayne’s personally been more of a friend than a coach,” Soward said.
“It was something I needed and I responded pretty well to how he approached our relationship, on and off the field.
“He told me not to think about it too much and just go out there and play footy. He’s probably changed my career and changed my game.”
Soward is eager to do what he can to make sure that the Dragons go back-to-back this year.
“(The off-season) was a little bit easier to relax and enjoy myself knowing that I didn’t have any regrets,” the 26-year-old said.
“I probably enjoyed myself too much and came back a little bit heavy.”