JT says Demetriou has the goods. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
JT says Demetriou has the goods. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Broncos to meet potential Bennett successor

BRISBANE assistant coach Jason Demetriou has secured a formal job interview with Johnathan Thurston saying Wayne Bennett's right-hand man has the goods to take charge of the Broncos.

Demetriou will face a three-man committee on Thursday as Broncos bosses ramp up their pursuit of Bennett's successor for 2020.

And Demetriou received a glowing endorsement from Queensland and Cowboys champion Thurston, who believes the 42-year-old is ready to be blooded as a head coach at the Broncos.

Demetriou was an assistant to Cowboys coach Paul Green when Thurston kicked North Queensland to premiership glory in 2015 and 'JT' now believes 'JD' can fill Bennett's throne at Red Hill.

"If they (the Broncos) do give him the job, he will do it justice," Thurston said.

"I really enjoyed being coached by JD.

"He has a great football brain, he talks well to the players and knows how to get his point across as well.

"He was very well-liked at the (Cowboys) so he would be ready for it."

 

Jason Demetriou knows the club inside out. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Jason Demetriou knows the club inside out. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

As part of Brisbane's search for the club's fourth coach in 31 years, it is understood candidates have been asked to undergo psychological testing.

Demetriou has completed the multiple-choice examination, which is being conducted by an independent company.

Now Demetriou must face chief executive Paul White, chairman Karl Morris and board member Darren Lockyer for a face-to-face interview that will make or break his hopes of succeeding Bennett as Broncos coach.

While he lacks the profile of rival candidates Michael Maguire, Anthony Seibold and Kevin Walters, Demetriou is highly rated by Broncos players and has impressed Bennett with his skill set.

When Bennett met with the Broncos board three months ago to outline his vision for the club, the super coach nominated Demetriou as his Red Hill replacement.

Demetriou was a winner with Northern Pride coach before joining the Cowboys. (Stewart McLean)
Demetriou was a winner with Northern Pride coach before joining the Cowboys. (Stewart McLean)

Since joining the club last year, Demetriou has earned rave reviews internally for the offensive structures he has implemented at the Broncos.

In two clashes against Seibold's South Sydney side in the 2018 season, Demetriou was tasked with devising Brisbane's attacking game plans. The Broncos won both games.

Demetriou, who is off-contract next year, is armed with a formidable record - having four premierships on his coaching resume.

In 2014, he steered the Northern Pride to the Intrust Super Cup premiership. The following year, Demetriou and Dave Furner helped Green shatter North Queensland's 20-year title drought with their grand-final defeat of the Broncos.

In 2016, Demetriou had more success, winning the NSW Cup title with Illawarra before steering the Cutters to the NRL State Championship with a 54-12 drubbing of Burleigh.

Appointing in-house would minimise disruption for the players. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)
Appointing in-house would minimise disruption for the players. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)

There are suggestions Demetriou could be a caretaker at the Broncos next season, but he believes Bennett will honour the final year of his deal in 2019.

"I'm confident Wayne will be here," he said.

"I've had a conversation with Wayne and he tells me he will be coaching the Broncos in 2019 and I would love nothing more than to help him win a premiership next year.

"Wayne is over in England now (coaching the British national team) but all I know is he is committed to us.

"He has told the players and he has told me he will be seeing out his contract with the Broncos."

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