Wal­ters shifts fo­cus to Ori­gin

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PAUL MAL­ONE

KEVIN Wal­ters has put on the shelf for the bulk of two years any am­bi­tions to coach an NRL club af­ter his dis­ap­point­ments at the Bron­cos.

Wal­ters ( pic­tured) says he wants to con­cen­trate on ex­ist­ing jobs with the QRL and Fox Sports and felt he had be­come “caught up’’ too much in the machi­na­tions about whether he would be ap­pointed coach of his old club for the 2020 sea­son.

Wal­ters, one of three coaches in­ter­viewed for the Bron­cos head coach job and by­passed in favour of An­thony Sei­bold, said he had “moved on’’ from the is­sue of coach­ing his old club.

“The Bron­cos have made a de­ci­sion. I’m for­tu­nate I have prob­a­bly the best job in the world, coach­ing Queens­land in State of Ori­gin,’’ said Wal­ters, who is con­tracted to the end of 2020 to coach the Ma­roons.

“It’s a re­ally spe­cial job I’ve got and I feel priv­i­leged to be in the po­si­tion of coach­ing the Ma­roons.’’

Asked if he would con­sider the right NRL head coach job de­spite his Bron­cos re­buff, Wal­ters said: “I’m go­ing to take a lit­tle step back from all that and re­ally fo­cus on the Ori­gin.

“I got caught up in all of that about go­ing back to the Bron­cos and it didn’t help me in any way. I’m go­ing to re­ally fo­cus on the Ori­gin p r e p a r a t i o n , my work at Fox Sports ( as a com­men­ta­tor) – that’s my big chal­lenge.

“What­ever comes around af­ter that in a cou­ple of years, well you never know, do you?’’

The 2017 Ori­gin se­ries win­ner de­clined to an­swer if he had come out of the process with a clear view of what the Bron­cos com­mit­tee wanted from a head coach.

Wal­ters was speak­ing in Bund­aberg where the QRL an­nounced a three- year, frontof- jersey spon­sor­ship for the Ma­roons with Auswide Bank.

The three- year spon­sor­ship pe­riod with the Bund­aberg­based bank is wel­come se­cu­rity and con­ti­nu­ity for the QRL.

Wal­ters said Queens­land had not been far away from win­ning the 2018 se­ries, which went 2- 1 to NSW.

“This year’s se­ries loss was ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing. It was my first se­ries loss as a coach,’’ he said.

“I want to do ev­ery­thing I can be­fore the first game on June 5 to rec­tify and im­prove my­self as a coach.

“It’s a big ad­van­tage to have our first game at home. Hav­ing said that, we had our first game at home in 2017 and lost quite con­vinc­ingly.’’

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