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Bennett's job 'far from done' at Dragons

By Steve Jancetic 04/10/2010 05:35:05 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett denies his work is done in delivering the Dragons a long-awaited NRL premiership.

The club is already exploring the possibility of holding onto the master coach beyond next season.

Bennett, who confirmed his standing as the greatest coach in the history of the game with his seventh grand final triumph on Sunday night, confirmed he would return in 2011 to see out the final year of his three-season deal.

But the club is already making plans to hold onto the veteran mentor, with chief executive Peter Doust to sit down with Bennett during the off-season to discuss the possibility of the 60-year-old continuing his association with the club beyond next year.

"I'm keen, we're keen to extend his relationship with the club, but we've got to get all those right things in place he needs to want to coach," Doust said.

"We've always had an agreement that he'd be here 2011 for sure and then once this off-season played out we'd sit down and have a talk about what may be in front of him going further."

With his family still based in Brisbane, many believe Bennett will return home in 2012 given he has now achieved what he had set out to do by ending a 31-year drought for a Dragons premiership.

The rumour mills have suggested a return to the Broncos is on the cards, but Bennett denied his job done with the joint-venture.

"No not really - part of it's accomplished but I've got a three-year contract, still got a year to go," Bennett said.

"My first goal was to get them winning - I didn't have a three-year plan or a five-year plan, I knew they had to win from day one and everybody was sick of waiting.

"When I get around to thinking about it I know what my instinct will be - we'll want to play well next year.

"I told Peter Doust when I came here that I didn't come here just to get another coaching job, I came here to hopefully put them back where they should be."

And had he done that with Sunday night's premiership?

"We haven't done too bad have we," Bennett responded.

While Bennett may not consider his work complete, there was a sense of satisfaction in Doust's voice after his ambitious plan to lure Bennett to the club paid handsome dividends after years of finals failures.

In eight of 11 seasons as a joint-venture - including last year's first campaign under Bennett - the Dragons reached the finals only to fall short of a premiership, with Doust paying tribute to Bennett for getting the team over the edge.

"You've got to put yourself in a position to win a grand final," Doust said.

"We certainly were struggling under that inconsistency label and our brand was suffering and the plan as he's said all along was to bring some consistency to the performance ... that's what he's delivered.

"He came at a time that they (the players) were ready as well - when you talk about Matt Cooper and Benny Creagh and Dean Young and some others that have been with us a while, you can see that he's been able to take that somewhere special."

Asked if winning the premiership could see Bennett move on, Doust said: "I don't think that's a concern, it what he's going to do with his life.

"When you've achieved that many successes in coaching, one constantly evaluates where you're headed.

"We had a commitment to 2011 - a win this year's not going to change his commitment to that."

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