Wayne Bennett has backed Dean Young to be St George Illawarra’s next coach, declaring he possesses the qualities to be successful.
Young is in the mix to lead the Dragons after he was appointed interim coach following Paul McGregor’s departure.
Bennett called his former premiership-winning player from 2010 during the week to offer support ahead of his maiden match in charge against Brisbane on Friday night.
The super coach joked that his chat with Young was more to emphasise with him for entering the brave world of NRL coaching.
“I don’t usually congratulate guys for getting coaching jobs,” Bennett said frankly.
“I usually commiserate with them because it is such a tough gig.
“You go in with such high expectations and it can all be blown away on them in six months, 12 months or 18 months.
“But I know Dean will give it his best shot and I know he has a lot to offer, so I wish him all the best.
“He is a great communicator; he is full of enthusiasm and he has got a lot of attributes that good coaches have got to have.”
Wayne Bennett, Dean Young and Ben Hornby and the 2010 NRL premiership trophy. Picture: Gregg PorteousSource:News Limited
Bennett expects Young to face hurdles, like all coaches in the NRL, but he believes the former forward has the personality to rise above the challenges.
The pair built a close rapport at the Dragons, especially during the franchise’s premiership year in 2010 when they combined to defy the doubters and end the club’s previous finals fade-outs.
“Dean is one of my favourite players that I’ve coached,” Bennett said.
“I loved him as a player because he gave so much on and off the field.
“He was just a great player and a great guy to be around. He is a great clubman.
“I was pleased for him (to get the coaching job). I know what it meant to him to get that opportunity.”
Bennett has another season to run on his contract at South Sydney, but he has been linked to a return to the Dragons as a coaching director.
The super coach distanced himself from those reports when asked after training on Friday.
“Well I’ve been linked with everybody, haven’t I?,” he said.
“You guys (in the media) keep getting me jobs and then I don’t finish up with a job.
“I’m a bit confused, so I can’t get carried away with this one.”
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