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GLENN PUT TEAM FIRST EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

- PETER BADEL

WAYNE Bennett, the super coach who signed Alex Glenn, has lauded the Brisbane captain’s fighting spirit in overcoming a career-threatenin­g back injury to become the most profession­al player in Broncos history.

Glenn’s decorated 14-year career at the Broncos will officially come to an end on Saturday when the retiring skipper plays his 285th game in Brisbane’s final regular-season showdown with the Knights at Suncorp Stadium.

Right until the end, Glenn is fiercely devoted. Not even an eleventhho­ur stomach bug, which saw Glenn miss Brisbane’s final training session on Friday, will stop him running onto Suncorp one last time, 4459 days after his Broncos debut in 2009.

It was Bennett who put Glenn on the path to Broncos immortalit­y.

The New Zealand-born Glenn was a 19-year-old painting houses on the Gold Coast when Bennett personally phoned him armed with a Broncos contract.

Even when Glenn hung up on Bennett, convinced it was a prank call, the master coach persisted.

Indeed, persistenc­e has been the narrative of Glenn’s career after a back injury as a teenager sidelined him for three years.

“I just rang Alex back and convinced him I was the real deal,” Bennett says with a laugh.

“Alex has had a wonderful career. He should be proud when he runs out for the Broncos one last time this weekend.

“Alex was the last player I recruited before I left the Broncos in 2008 (to coach the Dragons).

“Andrew Gee (former Broncos football manager) and myself went down to meet with Alex and his mum on the Gold Coast.

“His mum was a tragic Broncos fan and from the moment I met Alex, I liked how he presented himself.

“We got a deal done and the rest is a 285-game player for the Broncos who has never put a foot wrong.

“He has been a wonderful ambassador for the Broncos.”

Glenn will walk off into the Suncorp sunset on Saturday as the fourth most-capped player in Broncos history, behind only triple centurions Darren Lockyer (355), Corey Parker (347) and Sam Thaiday (304).

Bennett says back-rower Glenn’s strength has been his team-first simplicity. Low maintenanc­e. Just get the job done.

“Alex has never been a superstar, never stolen all the headlines,” Bennett said.

“But he is a great example for all young aspiring NRL players. Alex was prepared to do whatever was required for the team.”

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 ??  ?? Former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett (left) and Alex Glenn in 2018 and (inset) Glenn after Brisbane training this week. Picture: AAP Image
Former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett (left) and Alex Glenn in 2018 and (inset) Glenn after Brisbane training this week. Picture: AAP Image

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