Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Earlier today the Dolphins were confirmed to be the NRL’s 17th franchise that will take the field for the first time in 2023.
Speculation has been rampant over the past few months that no matter who the successful bidder was, super coach Wayne Bennett would be at the helm of this new franchise.
Reports have now emerged from the Sydney Morning Herald that Bennett has agreed to sign a three-year deal with the Dolphins.
“The Herald can reveal Bennett has agreed to terms with the NRL’s newest club to helm the franchise when they enter the competition in two years,” stated the report.
“He has hired veteran agent Sam Ayoub to strike the deal, with Bennett expected to put pen to paper in the coming days.
“It is understood Bennett is guaranteed three years with a potential option for a fourth.
Wayne Bennett agrees to three-year deal with Dolphins from 2023 https://t.co/NpqTW3zYSG
— Michael Chammas (@MichaelChammas) October 13, 2021
“He is expected to be announced this week and begin his time at the Dolphins from November 1.
“That is the same day the Dolphins are free to sign players for 2023.
“Bennett’s connection to Ayoub will concern Parramatta officials, who are trying to retain three of his clients in Clint Gutherson, Reed Mahoney and Junior Paulo.
“South Sydney officials will also be concerned about Bennett’s relationship with Cody Walker, another name free to hit the open market at the start of next month.
“Bennett’s three-year deal will see him coach for 38 consecutive seasons at the top grade.”
It is crucial that any new franchise has an established coach from the get go that can attract high quality talent, and you can’t do much better than Wayne Bennett.
Guesses as to how much Bennett will be earning at the Dolphins have emerged too, with Fox League commentator Andrew Voss of the belief that the game’s longest serving coach will be bringing in the big bucks when talking on SEN
The Dolphins have already signed their coachhttps://t.co/QB6NamP0nv
— NRL on Nine (@NRLonNine) October 13, 2021
“I don’t think he’s getting anything less than $1 million, Wayne Bennett,” said Voss.
“I think there’s going to be seven-figures on the annual salary of Wayne Bennett for the new club.
“It’s a bit like the (GWS) Giants with Kevin Sheedy, they need the name at the head of the club for the next 12 months so straight away people are excited.
“They’ve got credibility, people are excited because Wayne Bennett will be there.”
All eyes will now turn to Bennett and the Dolphins from November 1st as the introduction of this 17th franchise will send the transfer market into a frenzy like no other.