Benny makes agonising call not to extend Thaiday’s deal
WAYNE Bennett has made one of the toughest calls of his 40year coaching career by telling club legend Sam Thaiday he will not be re- signed by the Broncos.
Thaiday — one of Brisbane’s greatest servants — will be forced into retirement at the end of next year unless he opts to continue his 15- year NRL career with another club.
It is not the first agonising decision for Bennett.
Almost three decades ago, the super coach famously axed Wally Lewis as Brisbane captain in a move that eventually led to the Queensland Origin icon signing with the Gold Coast.
Now Bennett has made another gut- wrenching call by privately advising Thaiday that the 32- year- old will not be retained when his contract expires at the end of next year.
The Brisbane coach is working on post- football employment for the 269- game forward warhorse.
“Next year will be the end for Sam with us, he knows that,” Bennett said.
“Sam has a long- term future at the Broncos beyond football and I still want him to be part of the club in some way.
“He has such great credibility in the game.
“We are involved in a lot of indigenous programs where we can use guys like Sam and Justin Hodges, so there is a role for him at the Broncos.
“I guess it’s up to him if he wants to retire next year, but I just know we won’t be resigning Sam and I’ve told him that.”
Just three weeks ago, the veteran enforcer was axed by Queensland coach Kevin Walters.
Thaiday summoned all his experience to haul Brisbane out of trouble on Saturday night, setting up two tries in their 34- 22 defeat of Newcastle.