Graham Murray North Queensland CowboysIn the latest round of coaching bombshells, the North Queensland Cowboys have today announced that Graham Murray’s existing coaching contract will not be renewed beyond 2008.

In a surprising move, the Cowboys have closed the door on the coach that pretty much took them from cellar dwellers to NRL heavyweights during his reign as head coach. The move seems directly aimed at securing Wayne Bennett as head coach for the club for 2009 and beyond. Many insiders felt that Bennett would consider Sydney as first option to be closer to family, however the current movement by the Cowboys suggest they are going all out for the long term Broncos coach.

It also adds another element of uncertainty to Sydney based clubs, with Graham Murray sure to be desired in some corners depending on local results. St George, Newcastle and the Bulldogs being big candidates if their years start poorly. It also looks likely the former Warriors coach Daniel Anderson will be the front runner for the Broncos job, meaning Murray will get a decent shot at securing a Sydney club.

It’s a move that will leave a bad taste in the mouthes of Cowboys supporters, Graham Murray having led the club out of the wilderness only to be hung out to dry during their prime years. While most NRL heavyweights have the utmost respect for Wayne Bennett, it remains to be seen whether the award winning coach still has the desire, ability and longevity to succeed outside his well known Red Hill Walls.

One things for sure, if Wayne Bennett accepts the role he will be walking into a team bristling with talent and if he can’t succeed with a crop like that, it’s certainly time to hang up the clipboard.

By ricky

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