Waddell buoyed by Bennett call
TRAVIS Waddell says a move to the Brisbane Broncos could take him back to his best NRL career form.
The 25-year-old Proserpine product has signed a two-year deal with the Broncos, following coach Wayne Bennett from the Newcastle Knights.
An "up and down" 2014 season at the Knights, which included an extensive period with the Knights' NSW Cup squad, had left Waddell questioning his position at the club.
Having formed a close bond with Bennett, and hearing the illustrious mentor say he wanted to lure Waddell north, the talented hooker jumped at the chance to return to Queensland and make his childhood dream of playing for the Broncos come true.
"I played a fair bit of NSW Cup but I got back in the NRL towards the end of the season, and that's when we started winning more games, so that gave me a bit of a confidence boost," Waddell said.
"I always wanted to come back to Queensland. Since I was a young kid I wanted to play for the Broncos.
"I've become close with Wayne - I lived with him for four weeks and I get along with him well – [so] I was really happy when Wayne said he was going to take me back to Brisbane.
"Obviously Wayne's given me another opportunity and I'm just thankful for that."
Waddell played for the Whitsunday Brahmans for 12 years before being picked up by Intrust Super Cup club Souths Logan Magpies.
From there he was recruited to the Canberra Raiders for four seasons and then the Knights for two seasons.
Waddell becomes the fourth player from the Mackay region on the Broncos' books, with Josh Hoffman and Ben and Marmin Barba already at the club.
Though his cousin, Hoffman, seems destined to leave the club as soon as this week, Waddell was hopeful of him staying and was excited about being reunited with old mates.
"It'll be good to be back playing with the boys; I've played with Josh and Ben before, so that will be good," he said.
"I'll be heaps better; it's only one flight away (from Mackay) and my family will be able to come down as well, so I'm really happy."
DREAM COME TRUE: Proserpine product Travis Waddell, pictured at the All Stars game in 2011, has fulfilled a childhood dream by signing with the Brisbane Broncos.