Broncos start with a clean slate: coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos start with a clean slate: coach

By Wayne Heming 17/11/2008 04:50:46 PM Comments (0)

Incoming coach Ivan Henjak says every Bronco will start under him with a "clean slate".

But he warned them against testing the NRL club's patience coming off the most dramatic off-field season in their 20-year history.

Three leading players accused of sexual assault, but subsequently cleared of any criminal conduct, were fined a record $60,000 and lost personal sponsorships this year while club captain Darren Lockyer was embarrassed after being caught drunk on a hotel security video.

Henjak, who officially took on the top job from Wayne Bennett on Monday, says the club is deadly serious about dealing with any player, regardless of his profile, who steps out of line.

The club's image and relations with its sponsors took a battering this year.

"The players will be remind of their responsibilities today," said Henjak on Monday following the club's first official pre-season training session.

"It's a clean slate for everyone.

"If they want to play for the Broncos and want to be in their NRL team, it all starts today."

The players were called back from end-of-season holidays last month and briefed on the club's new "no tolerance" behaviour policy.

"In terms of behaviour, I'm pretty sure they're aware of what is expected there," said Henjak.

With prop Ben Hannant and hooker Michael Ennis both moving, Henjak has to find a new front row.

Talented young prop Dave Taylor, whose attitude frustrated Bennett, gets his chance to convince Henjak he can make the transition from part-time bench warmer to a possible starter.

Nick Kenny, who picked up multiple awards at the club's end-of-season dinner, is well in the running, along with Corey Parker.

Brisbane have lost several top class frontrowers in the past five years, including champions Shane Webcke and Petero Civoniceva.

"When you lose players of the calibre of the Webckes, Peteros and Thornies (Brad Thorn) there's always a bit of concern," said Henjak.

"Now we've lost Benny Hannant so it's a little bit of a worry.

"We've got the players, they've just got to step up to the mark.

"Dave (Taylor) is one of those, but he's not the only one.

"We've got six or seven frontrowers here who could get the job done, it's a matter of which one steps up."

Henjak wouldn't guarantee new signing Aaron Gorrell, who wants to make an NRL comeback after playing in France, first crack at Ennis's No.9 jumper.

"We've got three hookers, young Andrew McCullough, who had a really good season in the under 20s, PJ Marsh, who was good early for us last year but had some issues later in the season and Aaron who is coming in new.

"We'll have a look at all of them and make a decision later."

Henjak revealed the club's former prolific pointscorer Michael DeVere could make a shock comeback pending salary cap talks.

"Nothing is set in concrete with Mick, we've have to work through the salary cap to see if it's possible," he said.

"What he brought to this club we probably haven't seen since he left, his professionalism, his character and all the good examples he set.

"If he can play for us, it would be a huge bonus for us."

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